ADRIAN SANDERS: Fighting for DVLA at Post Office
THE contract that the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has with the Post Office will end next year, and they have yet to decide whether they will renew the contract with them or find a new provider for their services.
The loss of DVLA services would be a major blow for the Post Office at a time when the Government has made some significant pledges to help attract more business into the network and halt any future large scale closure programmes.
I certainly appreciate that the local Post Office is at the heart of most communities providing essential services to everyone, especially those who are unable to travel to the town centres.
I strongly believe that the DVLA should renew their contract with the Post Office because no other organisation has the same ability to reach every community in the way they do.
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I have written to the Secretary of State to encourage him to support the Post Offices bid to retain the contract and will continue to do all I can to encourage the Government to make more services available at post offices.
Many people across the Bay are concerned about this issue and have signed petitions in their post offices.
That degree of support helped in our successful campaign to save two sub post offices in last Parliament that were among the 46 recommended for closure across Devon — the only two that were saved!
I have always found post office staff to be knowledgeable, trustworthy and very likeable people who offer the most professional of services to their customers and I cannot see a reason why the DVLA should not pick the Post Office to provide their services.
MORE good news on the jobs front with leading optoelectrics and photonics specialists Alpha Contract Engineering announcing the move of its operations to Torbay following support from the Torbay Development Agency (TDA).
According to the company, it was established in 2007 and rapidly outgrew its home-based office in Ivybridge to become a leading South West manufacturing and design consultancy, providing advice and services in all areas of manufacturing to businesses throughout the UK.
The firm claims that the move to the new facility in Torquay has enabled the business to vastly improve its range of services, despite the economic climate.
It says it decided to relocate its offices to Torquay to take advantage of low rental costs and the pool of knowledge and skills that exist here, something we should do more to market.
I wish them every success in their new home and hope they will go from strength to strength alongside the growing numbers of hi-tech businesses clustered around the Bay.
THE global economic crisis and downturn in the Eurozone have meant that it will take longer than initially thought to get the economy fully back on track.
If we are going to protect the British economy and get public spending under control, the burden of austerity has to be shared equally.
That's why we need to seriously consider the idea of a time-limited wealth tax on the richest people in society so that the people at the top end continue to pay their fair share at the same time as everybody else has to tighten their belts.
I want to see an even greater shift in the burden of tax from income to wealth, especially unearned wealth, so those with the broadest shoulders carry the greatest burden.
By next April, thanks to the Liberal Democrat contribution to the Coalition, the number of people lifted out of income tax will rise to more than two million.
This year, 21million people were given a £130 income tax cut, this is on top of the £200 last year. And they will get a further income tax cut of £220 next year.
Ordinary working people will be £550 better off than they would otherwise have been thanks to the Lib Dems.
This strategy of shifting the tax burden from income to wealth has already begun with the Coalition's introduction of a permanent Bank Levy which will raise £10billion during this Parliament alone, increased Stamp Duty for properties more than £2million, allowing Councils to increase Council Tax on second homes and empty homes, limiting tax relief on pension contributions for the highest earners, raising more than £4bn per year, increasing Capital Gains Tax from 18 per cent to 28 per cent for higher rate taxpayers, investing £900million to tackle tax evasion, tax avoidance and fraud which will bring an extra £7billion per year in tax revenues by 2014-15, stopping the rich avoiding Stamp Duty by making them pay an effective mansion purchase tax if their property is owned by an offshore business.
We've managed to come a long way in this direction these past two years but we need to go a lot further.
NEXT surgeries: Wednesday, September 19, 4pm to 5.30pm, Windmill Centre, Pendennis Road, Torquay. Thursday, September 27, 4pm to 5.30pm, Paignton Library, Great Western Road, Paignton.
Email Adrian for monthly updates or quarterly mailings on international development, animal welfare or environmental issues.
Advice line on 200036. Email email@example.com Website: www. adriansanders.org Also on Facebook and Twitter.