MP welcomes Jones’ bid to ‘soften blow’

EASTBOURNE MP Stephen Lloyd has expressed his sympathy for the 62 Jones Bootmaker staff facing redundancy following a company reorganisation.

The company has decided to expand the warehouse and distribution hub it shares with sister company Brantano in Leicester, leaving a pared down base in Eastbourne.

It says that 62 jobs could be lost, as well as 11 drivers employed by a third party organisation.

Jones Bootmaker was established in 1857 and currently has more than 100 branches throughout the UK, including the Maple Road site.

The company said it had consulted with Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who told The Herald, “I was obviously very disappointed when I first heard the news that the number of Eastbourne staff who are going to be made redundant by Jones Bootmakers.

“Not least because I’m aware that a number of those affected had been loyal employees for many years.

“When I met managing director Andrew White in Westminster he assured me of a couple of specific steps they would be taking: to give every opportunity for staff to relocate; to delay any final redundancies until 2013 to give people time to explore their options; bring in a specialist company tasked with assisting staff with gaining employment in other areas.

“I do understand these options may be of little comfort for employees directly affected, but at least it shows the new company is trying its level best to soften what must be a severe blow to a number of Eastbourne residents.”

A spokesman from Jones said the decision had been made to ‘launch a new business plan to strengthen its UK operation’.

“As part of the plan, Jones and sister company Brantano will expand an existing warehouse and distribution hub in Leicester, creating a more central location to enable faster supplies to branches of Jones throughout the country,” he added.