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Newsagents closure leaves staff fuming

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 08:27 01 August 2010

STAFF at a Halesworth newsagents bound for closure have spoken of the "despicable" manner in which they have been made redundant.

Martin McColl, the current owners of a newsagents that has stood in the Thoroughfare for more than 50 years, will shut a week today.

STAFF at a Halesworth newsagents bound for closure have spoken of the “despicable” manner in which they have been made redundant.

Martin McColl, the current owners of a newsagents that has stood in the Thoroughfare for more than 50 years, will shut a week today.

And while customers have expressed their sadness at the sudden closure, staff have complained about the way in which they were sacked, claiming they first heard of it through second hand information.

Kingsley Elliff, who has been working at the store for the past 18 months, said that most of the staff found out when they received a call from the credit card machine providers regarding cancelling the service.

“It's short notice, and to find out that the shop is shutting from that source, it's despicable,” he said. “It's a botched job and they should have had the honesty to discuss it with us.”

He added that staff at the store had been without a manager for six months out of the last 12, and had been putting in extra hours to keep the shop ticking over.

It is believed that the store employs six members of staff, plus four paper boys, who will all lose their jobs.

Mr Elliff said that he thought the threat of a Tesco store had contributed to the closure.

“I can understand why it's closing,” he said. “It's losing money, and Tesco's looming on the horizon. Nobody is going to say 'I'm going to put money into Halesworth' at the moment because they don't know if Tesco is coming or not. There's nothing we sell in Martin's that Tesco won't sell.”

Jean Reeder, of Wissett Road, said she had been using the newsagent since 1945. “It's a shame, because I've been a customer here a long time,” she said. “It makes me sad to see it go.”

A spokesperson from Martin McColl said: “Martin McColl have reviewed the store as it was out of lease and we have decided not to extend the lease.”

He declined to comment on the staff grievances stating: ““There is a procedure within the business that they should follow, which is not to speak to the local paper.”

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