Customers and ex-workers of an out-of-business Pinchbeck furniture maker have been joined in the fight for their goods by the area’s MP.
John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, pledged to back people who claimed they had ordered chairs and other furniture from Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd, which went into liquidation on February 17.
Mr Hayes told the Spalding Guardian that he had been contacted by customers and ex-staff about the firm and was in talks with “a variety of agencies” about the circumstances leading up to its eventual closure.
In the meantime, an ex-worker at Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd has taken the matter to Prime Minister Theresa May, claiming that he “witnessed the firm’s slow destruction”.
Writing to Mrs May, former sales manager Paul Cooper described the firm as one that “was once considered to be a well-established and respected British company”.
Mr Cooper went on to claim that he also had concerns over a new company, Lloyd Loom Spalding Ltd, which he urged the Prime Minister to look into.
I am of the view that much of what went on at Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd before its liquidation falls well below the standards of what people can and should expect of a businessJohn Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings
The Guardian was contacted this week by a customer based in Sussex who claimed they had paid Lloyd Loom Spalding Ltd about £1,200 for furniture which has not yet been delivered.
The customer, who asked not to be named, said: “I ordered two Lloyd Loom chairs on July 1 and was sent an invoice, with the company name Lloyd Loom Spalding Ltd on it.
“As I believed it to be a well-established company, I went ahead with the order.”
Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd’s Pinchbeck factory closed in December 2015 and a number of workers were laid off, with some claiming not to have been paid for several weeks.
One ex-worker, who asked not to be named, said: “My wife couldn’t understand how I wasn’t paid and I had to tell her that it was incredibly complicated.”
An enquiry carried out by Lincolnshire Police earlier this year found no evidence of criminal offences and, writing to Mr Hayes, Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said that no further action would be taken against it or any of its directors.”
But Mr Hayes said: “I am of the view that much of what went on at Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd before its liquidation falls well below the standards of what people can and should expect of a business.
“I have taken up, with a variety of agencies, complaints made to me about a range of aspects of this business’s operations and I will continue to fight for my constituents.”
Meanwhile, other manufacturers of Lloyd Loom-type furniture but completely unconnected with Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd claim to have also been affected by the firm’s liquidation.
Steve Duncan, managing director of Lloyd Loom Manufacturing Ltd, Spalding, said: “I get to deal with customers and suppliers who pretty much tell us that they don’t trust us at all.
“Every time I talk to anybody about us, they go back to telling me about the old Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd.
“Others are wary of placing orders until they can be satisfied of our quality.
“I’ve had to work very hard to keep customers and suppliers onside and some have decided that the Lloyd Loom brand isn’t viable to them any more.
“I despair at the whole sorry mess, whilst trying to run my own business.”