TCM sheds staff after bid for railway contract falls flat

Suffolk-based weed control firm Thurlow Countryside Management (TCM) has axed almost a third of its staff after an unsuccessful rail contract bid.

A total of 14 staff out of a workforce of 46 have been made redundant in the cuts, which prompted unfounded rumours that the company was going into liquidation.

TCM managing director Howard Downer said that despite the redundancies the firm has no plans to liquidate and is working on several major projects, including a new contract at the English Partnerships regeneration scheme in Camborne, Cornwall.

"We most certainly haven't gone into liquidation," said Downer, who added that July and August had been record months for sales. "We did a lot of work in the rail sector and unfortunately didn't win a contract, so we had to make our rail team redundant.

"A certain amount of qualified rail staff have been kept because we have work in Scotland."

Downer added that the general downturn in the market meant TCM's figures would be down this year against 2007, and sales in the housing development market had dropped by around 30 per cent.

"Until last year we doubled our turnover every year, but it's not because of the housing market we've lost staff," he explained.

"We feel the changes we've made to our business will position us for difficult times ahead."

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