70 jobs go as Long Melford caravan firm closes
STAFF at a caravan factory were left devastated this week after they were told the company had gone into administration, putting more than 70 jobs at risk.
Unsuspecting workers at Fleetwood Caravans were told the news by company receivers, just hours after arriving for work in Long Melford on Tuesday.
One shocked worker, who did not want to be named, said: "I think the way we have been treated is diabolical.
"I would have been there 40 years come September. Everybody was just very shocked when we were told.
"There are a lot of families that work here. I know of one family of four who worked here.
"I've never been out of work before. It's just absolutely terrible for everybody involved."
A former employee claimed production at the firm had been dropping just before he left about a year ago.
"The average bloke never gets to hear what goes on in the boardroom. It's going to have an knock-on effect for the local economy because nobody will have the money to spend in the pubs and restaurants, which will make things worse."
Long Melford county, district and parish councillor Richard Kemp said: "We are all totally devastated at the news.
"Our hearts go out to all those people and their families who are suffering as a result.
"It is a huge blow for Melford. This was our last major employer and it has come as a total shock."
Mr Kemp said he had been in touch with Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council who have a scheme to assist and advise people on claiming benefits after losing their jobs.
"Hopefully someone will come in and take over the enterprise so it's not the end – but I expect that won't be the case," he added.
Parish council chairman Iain Wotherspoon said he felt sorry for the people involved and if the parish council could provide any help it would. "It's devastating for the whole community," he said.
"Fleetwood is a major employer in the village and is therefore very important to Melford and the surrounding areas.
"I am saddened and shocked by this news and it brings home the current problems the entire country is facing at the moment."
Fleetwood, which produces more than 600 caravans a year, was taken over by Slovenian caravan and motor home business Adria in 2005.
No-one from the administrators or the company was available for comment at the factory.
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Weather for Sudbury
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North