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Tue Dec 13, 2011, 05:59 AM

DVLA closures plan puts 1,200 jobs at risk

The government is proposing the closure of 39 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) regional offices, putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk.

The closures would take place by the end of 2013, announced Roads Minister Mike Penning.

He said the proposals, now to be consulted on, would "make dealing with the DVLA easier and quicker".

The Public and Commercial Services Union has previously pledged to fight any DVLA office closures.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16158015

From a year ago : 2 November 2010

Union fears over DVLA jobs at regional offices.

Up to 1,500 jobs at DVLA offices across the UK could be cut, with 320 of them in Wales, claims the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

It says a leaked government memo shows plans to shut 39 regional licensing offices, including three in Wales, and 10 enforcement centres.

The DVLA employs some 5,000 at its headquarters in Morriston, Swansea where services would be centralised.

A DVLA spokesperson said no decision had been made.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-11673976

This in some way be related to individuals now being able to re-tax online and AVRIL, whatever, for dealerships registering cars for the first time.

4 replies, 1087 views

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Reply DVLA closures plan puts 1,200 jobs at risk (Original post)
dipsydoodle Dec 2011 OP
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2011 #1
dipsydoodle Dec 2011 #2
LeftishBrit Dec 2011 #3
aithra Jan 2012 #4

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:15 AM

1. I was unaware there were any regional offices in existence

I thought it had all been centralised in Swansea decades ago. What do the reginoal offices do? Take walk-in queries in the major cities or something?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 12:11 PM

2. There'd always been regional ones to the best of my knowledge.

I knew there are definately ones in Luton and Carlisle. I've just searched and found this but I don't know how up to date it is :


DVLA UK LOCAL VEHICLE OFFICES http://www.plates4less.co.uk/number-plates-FAQ/DVLA-Offices.asp

I know for example contract hire companies use their local licencing office to re-tax cars on their fleets at anniversary dates

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 05:06 PM

3. There is certainly one here in Oxford; and yes, it's under threat of closure

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 01:44 PM

4. sign the petition and help all the drivers

Dear Driver – help yourself, your family and your friends!

In December 2011 the Department of Transport announced proceedings regarding the closures of all DVLA local offices apart from Swansea. Although this may not sound as though it will have much of an effect on the public, the closures will have wide-ranging consequences on everyone owning a vehicle or working within the motor industry.

For those arguing that the government will offer a fast and efficient on-line service, saving millions of pounds - there is NO existing IT system to replace the Local Offices. The cost of devising such a complex system could be huge. What is being offered is one office far away in Swansea to deal with everything by phone, post and via e-mail.

So what ‘great’ implications will arise from the ‘developments’ proposed for each of us?
Every one of us is legally obliged to display a valid tax disc and to update any name or address changes to our registration documents/driving licences. However, many of us are forgetful or will admit to purchasing our tax discs at the last minute. Using an on-line service, we may find ourselves in a position where we are not allowed to use our vehicle on the road (or have to use it illegally) until the disc arrives in the post. We should also question what will happen to this magnificent on-line service during peak times, i.e. at the beginning of each month or when registrations plates are changed (every March and September).
Furthermore, the act of changing the tax class on a V5C/licence or issuing interim export documents can only be processed in the local offices. Will you be prepared to wait up to several weeks or even months before you can legally use the vehicle after waiting for your documents to arrive back from Swansea?

Taking into consideration that DVLA offices deal with a large range of different services (including driving licence applications, the transfer of private number plates, the inspection of vehicles to identify their true class/make/origin, the registration of imported vehicles and registering new vehicles) it seems, that transferring these services to only one office will result in millions of different applications being received each day. Every office has 50+ queries each day, depending on the number of customers it serves. When you multiply this amount of queries by the number of offices, the figure is stunning. Swansea currently lacks the adequate staff resources to deal with this amount of work, which means that our enquiry would be severely delayed. This could also end up with people neglecting to send their documents for any details to be changed meaning false information on our registration documents. For example, a V5C displaying 5 keepers in reality may have 7 or 8 keepers, or in the most extreme cases the vehicle may be accident damaged (but not noted on the V5C) or even stolen! As the police will not be able to take over all the tasks DVLA currently contend with, this type of scenario could easily happen.

Furthermore, the closure of offices will result in the loss of specialised and personal assistance, which so many people require; including the elderly and the disabled who may not use the Internet or have access to a computer, and all the immigrants, whose language skills do not always allow them to resolve matters over the phone. DVLA staff are currently in place to help customers complete applications and also resolve any queries when something goes wrong – and human mistakes do occur. There will always be mistakes made, which could be even greater with the extra workload at Swansea. Delivery of DVLA services via phone, Internet or ‘intermediaries’ as mentioned by the government (which one can assume will not be free of charge) would lead to an impersonal and less effective service, with the general public directed to distant call centres.

At present, when submitting a document over the counter (e.g.V5C, a driving licence, an application to exchange a foreign licence, SORN application), one is given a copy with an office stamp and a receipt certifying that the action has taken place. In the cases when one is subject to a penalty notice, such a copy can be a life-saver. If a driving licence is mislaid, the local office staff will deal with the matter far more efficiently, that the individual can over the phone. The amount of incoming complaints will rise and be harder to address, many of them could just as easily be missed.

The proposals affect all of the regional offices of DVLA, that is: Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Beverley in East Yorkshire, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Carlisle, Chelmsford in Essex, Chester, Exeter, Ipswich, Leeds, Lincoln, Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, Sidcup in south east London, Wimbledon in south west London, Maidstone in Kent, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Preston, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Stockton on Tees, Theale in Berkshire, Truro, Worcester, Bangor in Wales, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness.

So what you can do to help yourself or anybody who has a vehicle of any kind? This could be any of your family or friends! Just google ‘DVLA closures’ and sign the petition. Every signature is important! Let the government hear the voice of the public!

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