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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Worry over local DVLA office closures

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meg Munn MP attended a meeting in Parliament about the proposed closure of 39 local DVLA offices across the country, including the Sheffield office. She is concerned that the proposals would reduce the level of service available, and won’t achieve the financial savings which the government has set out.

Around 2.4 million customers a year visit their local DVLA office to seek the expert advice of local staff, and tens of thousands of car dealers rely on their local office for the quick turnaround of documents needed for their business. The changes would mean that 1,200 experienced staff could be made unemployed with the loss of time and money to the motor trade difficult to estimate.

Ten area enforcement centres, linked to the local offices, would also be affected. These centres collect unpaid Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and arrears issuing penalties for late or non-payment, as well as having the power to impose penalties.

In 2011, DVLA enforcement staff created 267,081 penalty cases, where they had received a report that a vehicle had been seen being used on the public highway without a license. Centralising these functions will have serious implications for local prosecution, the PCS union is concerned that they will be de-prioritised by the DVLA, as manually generated and prosecuted cases, by their very nature, are more expensive to pursue than those generated by a scan of a computer database. This could lead to a reduction of cases being created and prosecuted.

The DVLA is also allowed to charge for many of its services, such as the sale of private number plates. Local DVLA offices collect over 400 million annually through Vehicle Excise Duty as well as arrears of duty and other services such as personalised number plate applications.

Prior to the coalition government taking office, the DVLA operated as a trading fund, keeping most of its income to pay for administration and development. A surplus of 120 million had been built up, however the government has clawed this money back and ordered a further 100 million in savings.

Meg Munn said:

"At this time of economic crisis all organisations have to look at costs. However the closure of local DVLA offices, including the Sheffield office, is unlikely to save money as evasion rates may rise, wiping out savings.

Associated Photograph :

Meg with Mark Devlin, PCS representative from Sheffield

Meg with Mark Devlin, PCS representative from Sheffield

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