DVA jobs campaign takes fight to Number 10

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Campaigners who are trying to save 300 jobs at the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Coleraine, are taking their plea to Downing Street at lunchtime on Wednesday.

A delegation which includes DVA staff members, local politicians, union and business representatives will hand over a petition with over 40,000 signatures.

The delegation left the North Coast this morning and is being led by the Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor David Harding. The petition will be presented at Number 10 at 12.30pm.

The delegation will then meet for a briefing in committee room 18 at the House of Commons to brief the MPs, before making their way back to Northern Ireland.

The UK government wants to centralise services at the DVA in Swansea, Wales.

The delegation includes the Mayor of Ballymoney, councillor John Finlay, the President Causeway Chamber of Commerce, Ian Donaghey, DVA staff representatives, Claire Wilson, Sandra Dunlop and Bill Dornan, the Chief Executive of Coleraine Borough Council, Roger Wilson, Ryan McKinney, NIPSA, MLAs Sir Reg Empey, Mark Durkan and MPs Gregory Campbell, Ian Paisley Jnr, Dr Alasdair McDonald and Ivan Lewis.

The UK government said centralising services would save money and allow drivers in Northern Ireland to tax vehicles online and by phone.

But there has been an energetic campaign against the move by those who believe the job losses would have a devastating impact on an area of Northern Ireland that is already struggling with high unemployment.

The campaign has the backing of all Northern Ireland political parties, business leaders and the shadow secretary of state.

The fate of 300 employees is unlikely to be known until the new year.