Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/05/mps_on_granville/

MPs demand Granville Technology probe

What went wrong at Tiny/Time firm?

By Team Register

Posted in Financial News, 5th August 2005 16:32 GMT

MPs are queuing up to demand an inquiry into last month’s collapse of Granville Technology Group Ltd.

Burnley-based Granville, which operated the Time, Tiny and Computer Shop brands, collapsed into administration just over a week ago, following months of losses. One and a half thousand workers immediately lost their jobs.

Local MPs, both Labour and Conservative, have insisted “something must be done”, though they have subtly different spins on the matter.

Kitty Ussher, Labour MP for Burnley, has called on the DTI to investigate the company’s collapse, paying particular attention to management’s actions in the run-up to the collapse. At the same time, she expressed confidence that government agencies such as Jobcentre plus were doing everything they could to help former Granville employees.

Ussher’s remarks came just days after Nigel Evans, the Tory MP for Ribble Valley, also called for an inquiry, demanding to know “which members of the board knew that the company was in dire straits, and when they knew.”

Evans also wanted to know “what steps were taken to try and seek assistance from either the Department of Trade and Industry or other Government agencies prior to the announcement being made”. As well as expressing concern for axed workers, Evans also voiced worries about the effect on other local firms.

So far little new information has emerged from administrators Grant Thornton, beyond the fact the total owed to creditors is around £30m. Reports suggest there have been around 300 enquiries about Granville’s assets, though it seems these are more concerned with the group’s property assets, such as its retail leases, than the PC manufacturing operation.®

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