MLAs call on Westminster to keep DVA office in Coleraine
The Assembly voted to press for the retention of the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) offices in Coleraine, on 24 September 2013.
The DUP's George Robinson proposed the all-party motion opposing the proposal to transfer the work carried on at Coleraine to offices in Swansea.
He said the DVANI offices were in "an area that has seen many jobs lost due to the recession" and called for the devolution of DVA functions to Stormont.
Anna Lo of Alliance, who chairs the Environment Committee, said closing the offices would "remove up to £22m per year from our economy".
Sinn Fein's Cathal Boylan said the Westminster government had been stripping back the services and running the office down.
"The alarming thing in all of this is 300-plus jobs, livelihoods, how it impacts on mortgages and everything else," he said.
Sean Rogers of the SDLP said the staff and IT systems in Swansea were already unable to cope with their workload.
Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott drew attention to a number of smaller DVA offices across Northern Ireland that would also be affected.
Environment Minister Mark Durkan also backed the motion.
He said the debate would send "a very clear message to the Westminster government".
The motion was carried on an oral vote, and was followed by applause from the public gallery.