Close ties with city keep me smiling

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This week a debate has been raging in offices across the country. Tie or no tie?

I have to admit when I am in the office I rarely wear one. It’s not out of pure rebellion or choice but if I’m not scheduled to go out and meet anyone I don’t see the point.

However, when I am meeting readers, taking interviews or even attending internal meetings I think they’re a necessity.

A shirt and trousers looks smart don’t get me wrong, but throw in a tie and you can be transformed instantly. I treat them like pens. I keep an emergency one with me at all times. That means at home, in the car and, of course, in my drawer at work.

Now they may not exactly be comfortable at times but they are important parts of a workplace uniform.

All through school you are made to wear one more as a sign of conformity and smartness and you do everything not to wear one.

As you get older you do realise what a difference they can make when you are meeting people.

Remember first impressions are important, you only ever get to make one.


For years now I have been telling people that Milton Keynes is a great place to live and work.

Now people might actually take a bit of notice.

An independent think tank, Centre for Cities, declared us as one to watch for the coming year.

It was praised for its strong economy, standard of the workforce (obviously) and its durability in the face of the increasingly difficult economic difficulties that have blighted the country.

For years I have defended Milton Keynes against those looking in from outside, and even those bemoaning it from within and each time I have said ‘We are more than just concrete cows and roundabouts’.

I think at first I spoke it up out of loyalty and because, other than university, I’ve never lived anywhere else, but now I genuinely believe that we have it all.

Different people may want different things but let’s look at the facts.

We have places for people of all religions to worship, we have plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs for entertainment.

There is plenty of green space and landscape to enjoy and we have a range of sports available – as well as a football team.

It’s not too long before we are officially named a city and when we are I can see an even brighter future for us.

Just think, Milton Keynes has only recently turned 45, we have so much more to offer.

The sky is no longer the limit for the new city.