Northern Ireland

Stormont rally over Coleraine DVA job losses

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Media captionMark H Durkan says he has identified 70 jobs which he can relocate to Coleraine

A rally is being held at Stormont to protest at the loss of jobs at the Driver Vehicle Agency in Coleraine, County Londonderry.

More than 300 DVA jobs will be lost, throughout Northern Ireland, but mainly in Coleraine, when motor tax services shift to Swansea, on 21 July.

Tuesday's rally is being addressed by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.

He has announced that 50 vacant posts at the Department of Environment will be filled by DVA workers in Coleraine.

In addition 20 staff will relocate from Belfast to Coleraine to help "lessen the impact on the local economy" of the job losses.

Mr Durkan also said he was working with the UK minister for transport to secure 12 additional new jobs, funded by Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

The minister is also transferring posts in the DoE to Londonderry.

"The loss of hundreds of DVA jobs is a devastating blow to the hard working people affected and their families," Mr Durkan said.

'Take up shortfall'

"I pledged to draw a fine comb over my department to establish as many posts as I could to offset the job losses and lessen the economic impact.

"Seventy jobs from an already dispersed department like the DOE is welcome. I am hopeful that I can secure another dozen jobs from Westminster to deal with vehicle excise enforcement.

"I continue to work closely with my Executive colleagues to try and ensure other government departments will now make up the shortfall."

Ryan McKinney of the union, NIPSA, has called on other departments at Stormont to follow suit.

"We now need to see in black and white, on paper, what those proposals are. One minister, the DoE minister, has, it appears, lived up to his commitments," he said.

"What are the other ministers doing? What are the other political parties doing who have supported every motion and every debate on this issue?"

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