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450 extra jobs on way to DVLA headquarters in Swansea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: July 05, 2012

Peter Black

Peter Black

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AN EXTRA 450 jobs are on the way to the DVLA's Morriston headquarters following confirmation that 39 of its regional offices are being axed.

The UK Government is centralising all the driver agency's work at the Clase site, and said it hopes "some" of the staff facing redundancy across the country will want to transfer to Swansea — but it is not yet clear how many people will be involved in the move to South West Wales.

The three regional offices in Wales — in Swansea Vale, Bangor and Cardiff — are included in the cull, and the Welsh Secretary has confirmed the staff will be offered the chance to move to the main site. The closures are part of the government's plans to modernise the work of the DVLA and move more of its services online — ministers say going digital will save around £26 million a year.

Together the regional offices employ some 1,213 people.

UK Roads Minister, Mike Penning, said the changes would deliver a "smarter service" which would bring benefits for the motor industry and drivers.

He said: "I understand that the phased closure of the regional offices will come as a disappointment to those directly affected.

"I would like to thank the staff in these offices who have played an important part in DVLA service delivery over the years."

The regional offices — which are spread across the UK from Inverness to Norwich to Exeter — will be closed at the end of 2013. They carry out a range of administrative functions such as arranging trade plates for garages, and vehicle inspections.

Ten of the regional offices also house enforcement departments which carry out back-office duties in areas such as pursuing people who do not to their tax vehicles — this work is also being centralised in Swansea.

The changes have been welcomed by politicians off all parties. Lib Dem South Wales West AM and Swansea councillor Peter Black said: "Although this decision will have huge implications for other parts of the UK, the fact that the DVLA has chosen to consolidate its activities in Swansea is very welcome."

South Wales West Tory AM Byron Davies AM, Shadow Minister for Transport, said the move reinforced the position of the DVLA as one of Swansea's "flagship employers", while Swansea East Labour AM Mike Hedge said he was pleased at the news, and that he was a believer in investing in the public sector.

Meanwhile Swansea East Labour MP Sian James said she has "very mixed feelings" over the changes, welcoming the new jobs in the city but expressing regret that they would come at the expense of other public sector workers.

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan described the DVLA decision as "tremendous for Swansea" — but one "tinged with sadness" at the closure of the regional offices.

And David Phillips, leader of Swansea Council, said: "This is great news for Swansea and is a vote of confidence, given the on-going concerns about the future of Unilever. These well-paid, skilled jobs will be a boost to the local economy."

jason.evans@swwmedia.co.uk

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  • huwwuh  |  July 05 2012, 6:48PM

    Should be fun trying to park down there. Isn't it about time to install a multi-storey ? Or underground parking so when it eventually closes down it could be used to grow mushrooms.

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  • tellyon  |  July 05 2012, 5:30PM

    PCS Wales media release Wednesday 4 July - for immediate use UNION SLAMS GILLAN'S WELCOME FOR DVLA JOBS MASSACRE The Public & Commercial Services union (PCS) has condemned comments by Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan, welcoming the closure of the 39 local offices of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The union, which represents DVLA staff, has accused the Tory cabinet minister of misrepresenting today's announcement about the closures as beneficial to Swansea. In doing so, PCS points out, she ignores the scale of the ongoing job cuts across the Agency as a whole, which will offset any supposed benefit from the transfer of jobs into Swansea, and disregards the devastating impact of 1,200 job cuts for staff in the local office network. PCS Industrial Officer, Mike Hallinan, said: 'It is deplorable that Cheryl Gillan should seek to portray as good news the closure of all DVLA local offices around the UK, with the loss of 1,200 jobs. This announcement is the government's response to a public consultation in which there was overwhelming opposition - from within the motor trade, in particular - to their closure plans. 'Gillan talks about the "creation of up to 450 jobs" at DVLA Swansea but these are not new jobs - they are being transferred from the 39 local offices now facing closure. Moreover, the figure of 450 posts has not been confirmed by management and there is no assurance that these would be permanent jobs as opposed to fixed term appointments. The Agency's own Business Plan - which takes account of the planned closure of local offices - shows that staffing at DVLA Swansea is projected to drop from 5,528 in March 2012 to 4,880 in March 2015, indicating that any additional jobs transferred to Swansea would be more than cancelled out by the ongoing cuts in the Agency overall. 'As part of the UK government's programme of public sector cuts, DVLA is committed to making savings of £100m over the five years up to March 2015. £32 million has already been cut, leaving £68 million to come. Management claims that the local office closures would save £26m, but they say this would not be realised until 5 years after the closures and the Agency's Chief Executive has said that he wants to make additional cuts of £100 million between 2015 and 2020. 'Therefore, we see this not as good news for Swansea but as a step in the continuing process of job cuts at DVLA which will affect staff at Swansea drastically over the next few years. Our members in Swansea are devastated at the news that 1,200 colleagues within the Agency stand to lose their jobs.' ENDS Notes: - For information and interview requests, please contact Jeff Evans on 07788 128629/ 01446 793843, Darren Williams on 07880 546019 or the PCS Wales office on 02920 666363. - The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has almost 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector, including 21,000 members in Wales. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich; the Wales Secretary is Peter Harris.

  • bennyhill4  |  July 05 2012, 4:56PM

    Can anyone explain to me why when reading this story there were comments made by The Welsh Secretary,a Labour MP,The UK Road Minister, a Tory AM,a Labour AM and the leader of the Swansea Council and the Evening Post decided to publish a photo of Peter Black AGAIN .Is there some sort of love affair going on here

    |   4
  • maxmin  |  July 05 2012, 4:21PM

    I always a bit wary about stories concerning the DVLA. When I was a magistrate we used to get a monthly briefing newsletter. I remember one edition trumpeting the new fraud section set up in DVLA to track down car tax dodgers. A couple of years later I read in the same newsletters headlines that they had recovered something like £15 million pounds - the only snag was revealed in very small letters later on hidden amongst all the flagwaving and cheering - it had cost £84 million to accomplish this!

    |   -1
  • sochat  |  July 05 2012, 4:11PM

    L

    |   -4
  • sochat  |  July 05 2012, 4:11PM

    If the cuts havnt started yet neathboyo what are you moaning about.

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  • Lezz_T  |  July 05 2012, 2:59PM

    Where will this extra 450 park?

    |   4
  • Philosoraptor  |  July 05 2012, 11:58AM

    arnoldlane, if you worked in the DVLA you would know it doesn't happen like that.

  • intelligent1  |  July 05 2012, 11:08AM

    there will be no job losses - the same will happen as did with the merging of NHS bodies in Wales - all those who's posts no longer existed were found jobs elsewhere in the organisation on protected pay for at least 5 years - how does that save money?

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  • arnoldlane  |  July 05 2012, 10:24AM

    Don't worry staff from Cardiff will fill lots of the jobs at its an easy commute plus they will get some form of financial compensation so don't hold your breath on loads of jobs going to local people

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