DVLA jobs must stay here

INDEPENDENT MLA David McClarty says he is doing all he can to keep Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency jobs in Coleraine.

The DVLA recently announced intentions to close all regional and local offices in Britain with the aim of centralising operations in Swansea.

The move could result in 300 jobs being lost in the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Coleraine.

Mr McClarty lobbied Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, about the matter in February, expressing “deep concerns and seeking clarification” on how it will affect jobs in Coleraine.

The MLA told The Coleraine Times yesterday: “The Minister has expressed to me his own concerns about the potential impact on jobs as a consequence of the impending centralisation of DVLA.

“Unfortunately the vehicle licensing is an excepted matter which means the ultimate decision lies with the UK Government.

“The Minister has informed me that he has held meetings with the Transport Minister in London and sternly argued the case for Coleraine and the potentially devastating effect it will have on our already grim local jobs situation. “He argued the case further by pointing to the excellent service provided by civil servants in Northern Ireland, including Coleraine.

I am somewhat relieved that no decisions have yet been taken. Whilst this is not a solid reassurance of the DVA’s future at Coleraine, it provides time and opportunity for Minister Attwood to advocate our case in London and hopefully persuade against the initial intentions.”