EAST Londonderry MP Gregory Campbelll has stepped up efforts to see jobs created and saved across the constituency.
“Over the last five or six years there have been significant job losses in the area. When Seagate in Limavady folded a total of 1,000 jobs were lost, when Farm Fed in Coleraine closed down almost 400 people lost their jobs,” Mr Campbell said in a statement to The Coleraine Times.
“There have been numerous other instances of losses as a result of the economic downturn which is affecting much of Europe never mind Northern Ireland but with uncertainty surrounding the future of Magilligan Prison and the 440 jobs there also we need to see inward investment in this area which has been hit so hard.”
Mr Campbell said that he had suggested Ballykelly as a prime site for the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Departmental HQ last year. “I am pleased to see that there is a growing lobby for this and we all must now continue to campaign to get this as a viable contender site for these jobs.
“At the moment the DVLA in County Hall, Coleraine, with over 250 jobs, is coming under pressure from the Vehicle and Licensing Agency in Great Britain.
“My parliamentary colleagues and I are arranging to meet Mike Penning MP, the Under Secretary of State for Transport, to impress upon him the need to retain the services of DVLA in Northern Ireland.
“The problem of unpaid vehicle excise duty and arrears of duty will escalate if Vehicle Licensing were to be transferred to Swansea.
“The land border with the Irish Republic means that Northern Ireland would be more likely than any other region of the UK to see evasion rates rise if local offices were to be closed.
“ It is essential that every opportunity is taken to lobby for job retention and job creation at this crucial time in the economic cycle,” added Mr Campbell.