Mayor of Ballymoney and Chair of Moyle has hit out at the announcement that 300 DVA jobs currently based in Coleraine are to be moved to Swansea.
Speaking following the announcement Cllr John Finlay said: “I am very disappointed at this decision, it’s a bad blow to Northern Ireland and to this region in particular which is hardest hit by the centralization, with the loss of 300 jobs in the Coleraine Office. It’s devastating news for the employees and their families and for the local economy in general.
“The Councils in this region, local communities, the staff and trade unions worked long and hard in opposing the proposal. A robust case was prepared supporting the retention of the jobs in Coleraine, supported by the councils, the employees, the community and the trade unions.
“We believed the best approach was to integrate with the GB system, with work transferring to Coleraine. There was huge public support for the petition which was raised in support of the retention of jobs. We urged the Minister in the strongest possible terms to abandon proposals to centralize jobs from the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland to Swansea in Wales. We received the support of the First Minister, we went to Westminister and we meet the Prime Minister.”
Concluding Mayor Finlay said: “It seems to me that this decision was made simply to cut costs without any regard to the impact it will have on employees, the economy or indeed the customers here in Northern Ireland. The socio-economic impact of removing these 300 plus DVA jobs from Northern Ireland is wholly disproportionate to other parts of GB.
“Coleraine and the wider catchment area will suffer a great impact than any other location in Great Britain where offices are also to be closed.”
Chair of Moyle Council Cllr Cara McShane also reacted angrily to the news stating: “This is terrible news for the 300 workers across the North most of whom are currently employed in Coleraine and it is also terrible news for the local economy. There are quite a few of the workforce who travel there from Moyle Council area.
“There has been a hard fought campaign to keep these jobs and I am bitterly disappointed at this announcement. It is imperative that those affected be allowed the opportunity to transfer to other parts of the civil service within this geographical area.”