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Strike over closure plans at Brighton DVLA office
A union has called a lightning strike over plans to close Brighton’s branch of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Staff will walk out of the DVLA office in Mocatta House in Trafalgar Place on Friday. Public and Commercial Services Union rep Steve Banfield said the office would be closed all day and a picket line would be in place from 8.20am to 1pm.
Mr Banfield said 18 people at the Brighton office will lose their jobs if the closure goes ahead. It is proposed the office will close for the final time on October 31 next year. He said the consultation showed 80% of those questioned favoured keeping local offices open and said the Government’s claim that the moves would save around £26 million a year was not achievable.
Mr Banfield said workers will continue to fight the proposals and said further industrial action was likely. Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has put her name to an Early Day Motion in Parliament urging the Government to reconsider its plans to close offices across the country. In total, 39 of the DVLAs regional offices will close under government plans which have already seen staff walkouts and union calls to scrap the plans.
A DVLA spokesman said: “As a result of the proposed industrial action it is possible that DVLA Brighton Local Office may be closed to the public or unable to offer the usual range of services on Friday.
“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause however we would suggest that motorists conduct any business with us on alternative dates if possible.
“Motorists can also apply online or by phone to renew their vehicle tax, declare their vehicle off road or apply for a new, updated or replacement driving licence – go to Direct Gov for further information.”