THE appalling news that the new owners of Oxford’s most historic hotel are planning to make most of its staff redundant in a matter of weeks, just in order to do a bit of decorating, will strike most Oxford Mail readers as an unbelievable act which is near impossible to justify.

Graduate Hotels has already got off to a very bad start in Oxford by proposing to rename the Randolph.

However, while we were shocked by this extreme lack of taste and understanding about local feeling, we could of course get over it in time.

But the idea that this massive, international company is planning to make dozens of hardworking staff at the Randolph redundant at a time when families have never struggled more – and all in order to spend their wage packets on giving the place a facelift – shows a temerity which is unbelievable.

Read again: Randolph Hotel to close for six months and make staff redundant

General manager Philip Lewis’s reassurance that the revamp could one day ‘result in the potential’ for the hotel to ‘increase the employee head count by over 10 per cent’ also leaves an extremely bitter taste in the mouth.

And on top of all of this is the unforgivable way in which this story has emerged into the public domain: not in a statement from the American company which is making these dozens of people redundant; not even in a public announcement from the team at the hotel - but in a detailed email from the hotel's manager to a member of public who just happened to ask what was going on, and thankfully had the public spirit to pass it onto his local paper.

As a result, some employees or their families may have found out more about this deeply distressing news from us than from the company itself.

The conduct of the Randolph Hotel and its owners so far in this business is nothing short of shameful.

We strongly urge those at Graduate Hotels and AJ Capital Partners to make this situation right very quickly.

They may call themselves Graduate, but these are appalling schoolboy errors.