‘Flat’ and ‘dumbfounded’ at closure of local motor tax office

Kate Charity Career Path

Kate Charity, Manager of the Enniskillen DVA office admitted the decision was not a surprise

YET more jobs are set to leave the county with the announcement that the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) office in Enniskillen will close before the end of the year.

On Thursday last it was announced that six positions; four permanent and two temporary would go at the office on East Bridge Street, one of the eight regional offices to close at a total cost of 300 jobs.


The move is part of plans to centralise operations to Swansea in Wales at a saving of £12m.

Under the reforms local motorists  will, for the first time, be able to tax vehicles online or by phone, like their counterparts in Great Britain.

The manager of the Enniskillen office Kate Charity admitted the decision wasn’t a massive surprise. They were informed by email on Thursday morning.

“I think the decision was made months ago, but they just hadn’t told us. It had passed the point of surprise, it was a foregone conclusion.

“We were kind of expecting it, but we didn’t think the whole thing would close, we thought they might save about three offices in say Belfast, Armagh and maybe Enniskillen, but the longer it went on we got less hopeful. We feel a little flat, dumbfounded, going through the emotions. The main thing now is staff get redeployed in suitable positions.”

Kate continued: “ I don’t think people realise their local offices are closing. When we told people when they came in, they didn’t believe it. They were of the impression it was just Coleraine.

“They are in for a rude awakening; a lot of people in the farming community bought tractors and did not have the registration books.


“We were able to search for them and tell them how to get one. They won’t get the same service over the phone and online.

“There are also people without Internet in the county and there are many people who would not know how to use the service, elderly especially. It is going to be a huge challenge for them and they will be fearful of doing it.

“It is a big cultural change.

“The pressures on the post office will be massive, the people will be going there and it’s going to be queued out the door.”

In regards to the future of the Enniskillen staff Kate told the Herald they remain in the dark.

“We have not heard anything yet and starting from July Swansea will be taking over all the work of the DVA. We may be still open until the end of the year, we are not sure, but it will be somewhere between July and December.”

Asked whether staff at the office would be willing to be redeployed in Belfast or Derry Kate was adamant: “Definitely not, they have families, young children, it wouldn’t be feasible.”

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