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Dozens of hauliers lose jobs after firms hit by 'ongoing financial difficulties'

PUBLISHED: 17:16 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:45 13 November 2019

A Dooley Rumble liveried lorry, which has become a familiar sight on Suffolk's roads  Picture: SU ANDERSON

A Dooley Rumble liveried lorry, which has become a familiar sight on Suffolk's roads Picture: SU ANDERSON

Sixty-six Ipswich lorry drivers and workers were left "gutted" - after being laid off just weeks before Christmas.

The Dooley Rumble site at Great Blakenham, Ipswich  Picture: GOOGLEMAPSThe Dooley Rumble site at Great Blakenham, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

A total of 43 workers at Green and Skinner (Haulage) Ltd were told on Wednesday (November 13) they had lost their jobs as insolvency practitioners were called in "due to ongoing financial difficulties", and it is expected to go into liquidation within two weeks. Another 23 workers at sister company Dooley Rumble were laid off in October, and that business is in the process of being liquidated.

A lorry driver at Green & Skinner, who asked not to be named, said he was "gutted" and would have to start again. "I'm lucky I have got another job but a lot of people have not got a job to go to before Christmas. They are obviously really unhappy about it, right on top of Christmas."

MORE - Suffolk logistics business enters CVA

In February, owner the James Dolan Group, which employed about 90 staff at the time, and had a turnover of £8m, applied to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The procedure - for companies with debt problems or which are insolvent - is aimed at reaching a voluntary agreement with business creditors about repaying all or part of a business's corporate debts over an agreed period.

Dooley Rumble is being liquidated  Picture: SU ANDERSONDooley Rumble is being liquidated Picture: SU ANDERSON

James Dolan Group consists of James Dolan Limited (JDL) and its two operating subsidiaries, Green & Skinner (Haulage) Limited (GSH) and Dooley Rumble Group Limited (DRG). It consisted of four main trading divisions - Freight Forwarding, Warehousing, Distribution and Export Packing - with a fleet of 50, and was restructured as part of the CVA.

Upset Green and Skinner employees were told they had lost their jobs at a meeting on site.

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Logistics group James Dolan acquired Green & Skinner in April 2016 from Michael and Richard Skinner. Their father, Joe, co-founded the business with William Green in 1959. The acquisition brought the expanded group's annual turnover to more than £10m.

The Dooley Rumble site at Great Blakenham, Ipswich  Picture: GOOGLEMAPSThe Dooley Rumble site at Great Blakenham, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

In November 2017, the group went on to acquire Dooley Rumble, which was founded by Neil Dooley and Simon Rumble, and Green & Skinner was relocated to the Dooley Rumble site at Claydon Business Park.

At the time, group founder James Dolan described the two businesses he had acquired as "the most iconic logistics companies in the region".

At that point, he was upbeat about the future, and hoping to expand, but the business took a turn for the worse after Dooley Rumble lost a big contract on its export packing side, prompting it to shed 15 jobs in March 2019 and enter the CVA.

Glyn Mummery and Paul Atkinson, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP, were appointed joint liquidators of distribution, warehousing and freight forwarding firm Dooley Rumble, a subsidiary of James Dolan Group, on November 6.

"Dooley Rumble had faced significant financial pressures and unfortunately attempts to restructure the company through a CVA earlier this year were unsuccessful, which ultimately led it to enter liquidation. All 23 staff were made redundant on October 18," FRP said.

FRP was also engaged by Green and Skinner (Haulage) Ltd. "Following a period of sustained cashflow issues and unsuccessful attempts to restructure the company through a CVA earlier this year, Green and Skinner ceased to trade today (November 13, 2019) and 43 employees were made redundant," FRP said.

Director James Dolan - who is also a director at Imorex Shipping Services in Felixstowe, in which he took a majority stake in July 2019 - has been approached for a comment.

MORE - Suffolk logistics company Dooley Rumble acquired by Cambridge-based James Dolan group

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