Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Brighton DVLA workers facing axe
2:53pm Thursday 5th July 2012 in News
More than a dozen jobs are to go after the Government confirmed plans to shut Brighton’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency office.
The Brighton centre in Mocatta House, Trafalgar Place, which currently employs 19 people, will be one of the first offices as up to 1,200 staff across the country face redundancy.
It is proposed that the office will close for the final time on October 31 next year.
Union representatives said they would continue to fight the proposals and said further industrial action was “very likely”.
Staff at the Brighton centre held a two hour walkout last month over the plans.
Public and Commercial Services Union rep Steve Banfield said future action would continue to aim to cause “maximum pain for their employer but minimum pain for motorists”.
He added that the consultation showed 80% of those quizzed favoured keeping local offices open and said the Government’s claim that the moves would save around £26 million a year was not achievable.
He added: “Our staff can help elderly or disabled customers in a way that the Post Office can’t and there’s no provision for that in the future.
“People will be just pushed towards the call centre, which we already get complaints about, or online which is not suitable for everyone.
“A lot of the work we do for car dealers we can do over the counter or they can come back a day later.
“If all that is centralised then dealers will have to wait for the post and for it to be processed in Swansea and these delays will badly hit their business.”
Roads minister Mike Penning said he understood the closures would come as a “disappointment” to staff affected and hoped that some of those affected would relocate to the head office in Swansea.
He added: “The DVLA has been serving motorists for more than 40 years but times and customers' needs change.
“That is why the agency continues to transform its services to give customers more choice and flexibility while offering best value for money for the taxpayer.
“These changes, developed after carefully listening to views expressed at consultation, will ensure that the agency delivers a smarter service to bring real benefits for the motor industry and every motorist in this country.”