UNIFORM: Is formality necessary?

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Despite the review that the county council is undertaking on the role of Arch, I hope that Arch is still coming forward with development ideas in line with the county’s needs.

We haven’t heard much of late of what will be done on the site of what was going to be County Hall, mark two, in Ashington.

Nor have we heard much of progress with plans for the Ashington-Blyth-Newcastle rail link, and how that will open up potential development sites in Ashington and Blyth, for example.

Certainly, with the land use strategy being reconsidered, the likely future number of houses in the county is more difficult to predict, but the need for increased economic growth in the county is as unchanged as the local weather is unpredictable.

The return of the traditional blazers and ties school uniform to King Edward VI School in September was a surprise, as was the limited explanation of why the decision was made, given both the consistent record of academic success at the school and the increasing demand for places. Both have built up over the years without this uniform.

No doubt, over the time he has worked as a ‘lollipop man’ at the bottom end of Manchester Street, that gentleman will have pondered on some of the clothing choices that the young heading up to King Edward VI School had made. This would have made him a good person for the head of King Edward VI to consult with for a neutral, man-in-the-street opinion.

But given that it is important for the young to be encouraged to grow as individuals amidst all of the academic pressure they are under, I wonder why an enforceable standard of dress code wasn’t chosen instead of a formal return to school uniforms?

Last year Alan Sambrook did an excellent job representing Northumberland County Council as its civic head in a challenging year for the authority.

You often heard positive feedback from people about the positive work Alan Sambrook did.

The civic head for the county council this year will no doubt have had a busy few months, but it is important that he is visible and builds on the good work Alan did.

The civic head for the county council is an important role where there should be continuity, despite whatever political changes there have been in the running of the council, as the civic head is the face of good news for the council. The leader can be both the bringer of good and bad news, depending on the circumstances.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth