SCHOOL: Sport plans raise questions

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Anyone who has attended King Edward VI High School in Morpeth over the last 40 years will have a sporting memory from their time there, perhaps a good one, or perhaps a bad one.

So with the announcement of a plan to improve sporting facilities at the school, it is unlikely that anyone with any knowledge of, or connection to, the school would consider it a bad idea in principle.

But the project raises a few issues.

Firstly, there is the cost. How much will it cost and how will the cost be divided between the Three Rivers Trust, the local authority and any outside sources of financial help?

Secondly, does this investment mean that the school won’t be relocating in the foreseeable future?

Can it cope with the inevitable increase in intake, which can be linked to the inevitable increase in the town’s population?

Thirdly, will an improvement of sporting facilities lead to more schools within the trust using them? The greater the usage, the better the value for money.

It is easy to imagine the debate on Facebook caused by the query in the Herald about a photograph with Miss Isobel Smail in it.

Even though it has been probably eight years since she passed away, the decades of her public service and the place the shop held in local people’s hearts will mean that everyone on that same photograph will be named.

Photographs of Miss Smail tend to be published a time or two as they tend to be linked to an important local event or organisation that she had a role in.

It would be good if Northumberland County Council could do more to make markets throughout the county a success.

However, any strategy for the markets should take on board the concerns of the traders themselves, who have a greater understanding of the issues that impact on the footfall through a market on an average day than someone in an office at County Hall.

People who work in a town talk, so the person operating a stall knows what he/she has to earn to cover costs in a day. Similarly, a shop owner knows what he/she has to earn to cover a different level of costs.

Both will have a view on what the county council could do to improve the local economy that would benefit everyone.

People who have issues with water meters tend to have concerns about more information on water usage being used to impact on water pressure in an area.

Given the warm spells, it must be challenging for water companies to meet the increased demand as people take more showers, etc, and also maintain the water pressure and water quality that customers are used to.

There are differences in both issues in differing parts of the county, but it’s a relief that the infrastructure is there so the hottest summer in 40-plus years hasn’t caused major problems to water supply in this area.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth