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MP fights proposals to axe Sidcup DVLA office
A BEXLEY MP has backed a parliamentary motion urging the Government to reconsider proposals that could lead to 86 job losses in Erith.
Transport Minister Mike Penning MP announced proposals in December to close 39 regional DVLA centres by the end of next year, including the enforcement office in Station Road, Sidcup.
The Government said it could save £28million a year and users have more choice and flexibility if the vehicle tax and registration service was centralised in Swansea, although 1,200 jobs could be lost nationally.
Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce has put her name to a Commons motion, alongside 45 other MPs, proposing the plans are reconsidered and that a consultation period – due to end on March 20 – is extended.
Ms Pearce said: “These plans are about short term savings but I don’t think Ministers have really thought through the long term implications of shutting all these offices and putting people out of work. “As well as pushing up local unemployment, it will mean a big reduction in service levels as DVLA services will have to be done over the internet or at Post Offices and the expert advice offered at the Sidcup office will be lost.”
Last month, staff at the DVLA office in Sidcup staged a protest outside their offices, backed by Public and Commercial Services Union and Greenwich and Bexley Trades Union Council.
Have your say by March 20 at dft.gov.uk/dvla/consultations or write to Consultation co-ordinator, Corporate Affairs Directorate, D16, DVLA, Swansea, SA6 7JL.
Sign the petition at savethedvla.co.uk.