Chron Comment: January 17

IN the week when the deadline for primary school applications this September passed, there can be no clearer indication of the pressures on classroom places which Northampton faces.

Abington Vale Primary’s proposed use of an office block was an early sign of this last autumn and now a further 1,140 places are having to be created at a number of schools across the town because of the extraordinary numbers of people moving to Northampton in the past decade.

Some schools such as St Andrew’s will be almost doubling in size while others such as Boothville will expand by around a third again. Inevitably, parents will be concerned that bigger doesn’t always mean better while residents living in the areas around the schools will be trotting out quite understandable fears about additional traffic and noise.But the county council has very little alternative because the fact remains that as long as people carry on moving to Northampton and bringing up familes here - and there’s no sign of this abating any time soon - schools will have to expand to meet demand.

Royal watchers will be out in Northampton on Tuesday when Prince Charles tours the Crockett and Jones shoe factory. The Prince has been a regular visitor since 2000 and his latest trip comes on the day the Commons debate the rules on Royal succession. We’re sure HRH will have one eye on this too.