Hundreds of jobs at risk as DVLA offices face axe amid cuts

More than 1,200 jobs are likely to be axed after the Government announced plans to close 39 regional offices of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency – including three in Yorkshire.

The proposal, which is expected to save £28m each year, would see offices closed by 2013, including Leeds, Sheffield and Beverley where 93 people are currently employed.

The closures include ten regional enforcement centres with all work being centralised at the DVLA’s headquarters in Swansea.

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Roads Minister Mike Penning said the plans, which will now be consulted on, “will make dealing with the DVLA easier and quicker for motorists and businesses”.

“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,” he said.

The DVLA employs 6,116 staff, with 1,213 potentially affected by the proposed office closures.

The 39 regional offices carry out a range of administrative functions such as arranging trade plates for garages, vehicle inspections and personalised registration mark transfers.

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The Public and Commercial Services union said the news was “devastating” for staff, especially coming two weeks before Christmas.

The union warned that the closures would wipe out the high-quality face-to-face services provided to the public and the motor trade.

General secretary Mark Serwotka 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.”