Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Another government agency closes local offices

News is coming through that DVLA is to close its remaining local offices. No doubt the Welsh Labour Party will jump up and down about the loss of jobs in Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea, but they should be reminded that Labour's response to the economic downturn in 2008 was to close job centres and inland revenue offices throughout Wales, with more serious consequences.

One has to accept DVLA's reasoning that, for the business it transacts, the local office network is not cost effective. On the other hand, there are times when members of the public need dialogue with a friendly official after fruitless telephone interchanges or attempts to access a busy web-site. The logical answer is to create more one-stop-shops, which have proved so successful in bringing a range of council services back to neighbourhoods. Combining the public faces of several departments which affect people's everyday lives in single local offices in strategic locations could take pressure off the centre, as well as benefiting the citizen, at a more reasonable cost than each department's maintaining its own branches. One could even make use of existing crown post office premises or local authority's public counters.

No comments: