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Buntings' creditors - Essex firms "no prospect" of payment
FIRMS from Essex are among unsecured creditors owed nearly £1million in total.
BSW Marquees, based in Station Road, Rayne, is owed £55,527 for its services to Bunting and Sons.
Director Andrew Fitzwater said: “The news Bunting and Sons had gone into administration was not so much of a shock.
“I had spoken to Stephen Bunting on quite a few occasions leading up to the announcement and we were led to believe they were on the brink of solving their problems.
“The way he behaved was dishonourable, but not illegal. I think they have been pre-occupied and blinkered with the planning application, to the detriment of the business.
“We knew we took a risk in dealing with them and tried to minimise it.
“We did get £20,000 over the last six months out of them, so we did achieve a little back, but the risk did not work out the way we hoped.
“We would much rather have the money, but it won’t affect us financially. If you rely on your creditors in business, you have made a mistake. It must be an emotional time for the Buntings and we empathise a bit. It is a well-established old company.
“It does not look as though we will get a penny and I am exploring legal arrangements to pursue them personally.
“I don’t want to do that if it causes anguish and pain, but if they are able to pay I will look at that.”
Tony Collins, a director at Collins and Coward planning consultants, which was based on the Westwood Park business site owned by Bunting and Sons, said his firm was owed “a substantial amount more” than the £17,176 on the creditors’ report.
He added: “It has a significant impact on a small business. We look forward to settlement as soon as possible.
“Having done all the planning work on the Horkesley Park application we are disappointed to be in the position we are in.”
Colchester Council is owed £48,621 in unpaid business rates.
Paul Smith, councillor for finance, said: “I don’t want to comment on this specific case.
We will continue to seek to collect money we are owed.’’ Wine expert Mary Mudd, who set up Carter’s Vineyards, owned until recently by Bunting and Sons, is owed £2,500 in consultancy fees she says date back to 2010.
Mrs Mudd said: “It is a sad situation.
I was one of the supporters of their scheme. I was hoping when it came to fruition I would be involved with it. I feel it is sad for the Buntings. I know it has made them sad and embarrassed to be in that position.”
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