Waterside jobs boost

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A jobs boost has been announced for the Waterside with 24 civil service jobs moving to Ebrington Barracks.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced the relocation of 94 civil service jobs to the wider North West - 70 to Coleraine and 24 to Londonderry.

Two dozen posts from the Department of the Environment (DOE) planning will be moved from Belfast to Londonderry - including the posts of chief planner, DOE Marine Division and posts from the Minister’s private office.

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

Over 50 posts transferring from Belfast will go to DVA staff in Coleraine. A further 20 staff will relocate to Coleraine.

Mark H Durkan is also working with the Minister for Transport in London to secure twelve additional new jobs, funded by Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

The Minister is also moving existing filled posts in DOE to Londonderry to further boost the local economy.

Mark H Durkan said: “The loss of hundreds of DVA jobs is a devastating blow to the hard working people affected and their families. 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. 70 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.

“I am also mindful of the economy in Coleraine and further afield that has been affected by the job losses. To that end, I am arranging to relocate 24 posts from DOE Planning, including the chief planner, DOE Marine Division, and some posts from my own Private Office to Ebrington Barracks in Derry. Some of the posts in Derry will be suitable redeployment opportunities for surplus DVA staff.”

Referring specifically to the need for the public to be aware of the changes the Minister said: “The decision to relocate these services to Swansea affects hundreds of thousands of local people. It is important that they know exactly how and when the new services will operate. The DVLA in Swansea is responsible for ensuring this happens and I have impressed on my counterparts in London that this communication process needs to be open, timely and easily understood. “