Staff launch petition to keep tax office open

Fergus Gallagher signing the petition to prevent the closure of the Enniskillen Motor Tax Office.

Fergus Gallagher signing the petition to prevent the closure of the Enniskillen Motor Tax Office.

STAFF at the Motor Tax Office in Enniskillen are looking for the public’s support to save the office from closure. It provides a range of services from taxing your vehicle to cherished transfers.

Six local jobs are at risk if the office closes next year. At risk are all eight local offices, including Coleraine headquarters. The closure would affect a total of 324 jobs, with all functions being transferred to Swansea.


A public consultation is ongoing.

It states there is a ‘long standing disparity’ in the level of licensing services available to Northern Ireland motorists compared to the rest of the UK. Currently, motorists here can’t license their vehicles online, while Post Offices only have limited services in this regard.

To address this, the Department of Transport and DVLA are proposing changes to the way services are delivered to motorists here – proposals which ‘may result in the closure of a network of dedicated offices in NI through where these services are provided.

The manager of Enniskillen Office, Kate Charity explained that staff had drawn up the petition themselves and they are inviting everyone who calls into the office over the next few weeks to sign it.

By doing so, they will help protect the services Kate and her staff offer motorists. The motor tax office in Enniskillen currently employs six staff – four permanent and two temporary.

Kate and her colleagues will hear in November how the consultation has gone, by which time they may be told the office is to close. Closure is then likely to happen within six to nine months.

And, while staff have been reassured they will not be made redundant, they will be moved to other positions within the civil service.


This could mean a move to Belfast or Derry to another department.

“Our petition is not just about the loss of jobs, it’s more about the loss of a service to the public. We need a local service for the local people”, Mrs Charity added.

“Local politicians need to get themselves involved in this, and support this local service.”

While the public consultation suggests that customers here get an inferior level of service to their neighbours in the rest of the UK, DVA staff dispute this.

In a letter sent to MLAs and MPs, they say that the level of service here is equal to and in many ways superior to the service currently provided elsewhere. Indeed, they suggest that Northern Ireland will receive an inferior level of service after the move to Swansea.

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