Ipswich: Jobs threat amid bid to centralise DVLA

Nineteen jobs are today under threat after the government announced plans to close Ipswich’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) office.

The proposal is part of a national drive by Whitehall to save �28million a year, which threatens 1,200 jobs and could see the closure of all 39 of the agency’s regional offices.

Roads minister Mike Penning said plans to centralise operations in Swansea and move more services online would make the agency easier to deal with.

He added: “This is a major step change which will make dealing with the DVLA easier and quicker for motorists and businesses up and down the country.

“Centralising the DVLA’s services is the first crucial step towards making more of its transactions available online, allowing people to deal with the DVLA at their chosen time and place. This will mean quicker turnarounds and meet our customers’ growing needs.”

A consultation with staff affected by the potential closures is already under way and will run until March 6 next year.

Simon Tse, chief executive of the DVLA, said: “The DVLA has been serving motorists for over 40 years in one form or another. But times change and customers’ needs change.

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“That is why it’s essential that we move with the times and make the best use of our services and experience to make sure we give the motor industry and the general public a service that is fit for the 21st century and allows them to carry out their business in a way that suits them and offers the best value for money for the taxpayer.”

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: “With unemployment and inflation remaining high, these cuts to local communities are outrageous and unnecessary, and will further weaken economies crying out for investment.

“DVLA senior managers have previously denied this is what they were planning, so to announce it just two weeks before Christmas is insulting and devastating for staff.”

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