NEW TALKS OVER COUNTY HALL JOBS

The DVA Driver and Vehicle Licensing offices for Northern Ireland at County Hall in Coleraine Co-Derry where it is feared up to 300 jobs may be lost due to closure. Minister Alex Atwood is due to hold talks with government ministers in London next week on the possible closure. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ��by-line  SEE STORY   28-2-13
The DVA Driver and Vehicle Licensing offices for Northern Ireland at County Hall in Coleraine Co-Derry where it is feared up to 300 jobs may be lost due to closure. Minister Alex Atwood is due to hold talks with government ministers in London next week on the possible closure. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ��by-line SEE STORY 28-2-13
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THE Minister for the Environment Alex Attwood will meet the Under Secretary of State for Transport Stephen Hammond in London this Wednesday to discuss the future of 260 jobs at the DVLA office in Coleraine.

Mr Attwood hopes to keep the jobs at the County Hall department can be saved.

The meeting has been welcomed by East Derry SDLP Assembly member, John Dallat, who said: “Any decision to move these jobs out of Coleraine is fundamentally flawed because no impact assessment has been carried out.

“In other centres in Britain such assessments were completed before any decision was made.

“The simple truth is that the private sector in Northern Ireland cannot absorb any more job losses arising out of decentralisation of public service jobs such as those at the Motor Taxation Centre.”

Mr Dallat said any further job losses in the area would be disastrous.

“I am confident that Alex Attwood will make a robust case and will remind the Under Secretary that London will not act arbitrarily on such important issues without the knowledge of the Assembly and its Executive.

“The constituency of East Derry is an unemployment blackspot where there is little if any evidence of an economic recovery involving the creation of new jobs. Creating new unemployment would only be piling despair on despair at a time when people are looking to government for leadership. It must not happen.”

DUP MLA, George Robinson said: “I am deeply concerned about the protection of the jobs in Coleraine. I can assure the employees in the Coleraine office that I am lobbying for the retention of their jobs.

“I do appreciate the Minister has been actively supporting the retention of the Coleraine office with the Westminster authorities and I will support him in his efforts for the protection of the Coleraine jobs”.