At one of my recent surgeries a constituent came to talk to me about the local building firm, DMB Solutions, who went into voluntary liquidation over the New Year.
The fallout from the DMB collapse has gained national media attention, both due to the number of people affected, and the scale of the financial losses they’ve suffered. It was shocking to hear first-hand just how devastating the situation has been for those left in the lurch by the company folding.
My constituent came as a representative of the DMB Solutions Victim Support Group, which currently has around 400 members on Facebook. He described how many people have been left with houses which are dangerous and uninhabitable. A significant number of people have lost in excess of £50,000 - money which had been saved up over years, and paid to DMB for work that will now never be completed by them.
What’s incredibly worrying, is that just days before going into liquidation, many DMB customers have said that they were approached by them, and asked to pay large sums of money for work that we now know would never take place.
Trading Standards are currently investigating the case, and I have been in touch with officers about recourse for those affected. Whilst it’s up to the police, Trading Standards, and relevant authorities to investigate whether there has been fraudulent activity, I will be supporting my constituents to highlight the urgency and scale of the situation, and that those affected need answers.
With victims throughout Brighton and Hove, I’ve also contacted the other MPs in the city, Peter Kyle and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, so that we can jointly make representations to the authorities on this. I’m also seeking a meeting with the Insolvency Service, and trying to secure an adjournment debate in Parliament to discuss what legislative changes could help to better protect people from such financial catastrophe when companies go into liquidation.
I am encouraged by the Victim Support Group, where those affected have joined together, and in many cases are offering to help one another in practical ways, an example of community spirit and determination, which has not been defeated, even in difficult circumstances.
If any constituents have been affected by the collapse of DMB Solutions, making contact with the support group via Facebook might be beneficial. I’ve been impressed by the way they’ve pulled together to offer each other both practical and emotional support.
If you have been affected you can also report details via the following:
1) Contact Trading Standards: If you have not already, contact John Peerless on 01273 292486 or John.Peerless@brighton-hove.gov.uk
2) Contact the Insolvency Service in an attempt to stop DMB folding the company. The online reporting form is here
3) If you believe that you may have been a victim of fraud, you can report details to Action Fraud here:
4) Register with DMB’s insolvency firm, Begbies Traynor. They say anyone who feels they have a claim should register it. Claims can be registered via Marc Norman at Begbies Traynor by email at email@example.com or by telephone on 01273 322960.
5) If you are a business, or tradesperson in a position to offer your services to help those left in the lurch, please contact the DMB Solutions Victim Support Group via Facebook, they would be delighted to hear from you.