On Thursday 22 July, Sir David Amess called for a debate on the delays at the DVLA which have been affecting individuals and businesses in Southend and across the country.
Sir David Amess said:
I echo your words, Mr Speaker, but very much include you and your brilliant team in the praise that has been handed out. This is the finest Parliament in the world and that is in no small measure down to the people who run it. I wish everyone a very happy summer.
Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on delays at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, which are having an impact on drivers and businesses in general? The DVLA works terribly hard but I understand that the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on staffing levels. Constituents are complaining about it. I hope that during the course of such a debate we would try to address those urgent issues.
Jacob Rees-Mogg replied:
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this, because it has been raised with us all as constituency MPs. The DVLA’s service is currently not good enough and it has been hindered, unfortunately, by industrial inaction by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which has made the problems of the pandemic worse, by the Welsh Government’s additional social distancing requirements, which have reduced the number of staff on site, and by an increased demand for its services, which has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. Her Majesty’s Government are working to put that right and the DVLA has, for example, leased an additional building to accommodate additional staff. Driving licence applications made on paper are likely to take six to 10 weeks to process, although there may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. I will obviously pass on my hon. Friend’s concerns to the Secretary of State and there will be the end of term Adjournment debate to raise any further issues of this kind later today.