Durkan vows to do all he can for DVA

Environment minister Mark H Durkan
Environment minister Mark H Durkan

The Minister of the Environment, Mark H Durkan has vowed to support the Province’s DVA workers in any way he can.

About 300 jobs at Northern Ireland’s Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) are being lost - m0st of them in Coleraine.

Local MLA George Robinson askedMr Durkan whether he will support DVA staff being given local priority in redeployment within the civil service.

The Minister replied: “I have written to all Executive colleagues asking them to look for any opportunities that might exist for the redeployment of the staff, but, more importantly, the relocation of work to Coleraine, given the immobility of many of the grades employed there. I have also prepared, in advance of our next Executive meeting, a paper with my colleague the Minister of Finance and Personnel, outlining the situation throughout the DVA, most notably in Coleraine, and the need for us as an Executive to take action to assist those affected immediately”.

Mr Durkan said he did not know what would happen the County Hall building.

Mr Robinson said: “I welcome the Minister recognising how important the two pronged approach could be with helping staff re-locate while seeking jobs for the space at County Hall. It would be preferable if such actions were not required at all but Westminster has decided to devastate the local economy of East Londonderry. With the new Enterprise Zone for Coleraine, the possible availability of space in County Hall and the re-development of the former MOD Shackleton Base at Ballykelly, we have locations that can be used to attract inward investors as well as public sector employment if there is a united and cohesive effort.”