Posted: 19/06/2016 at 08:34
Pruning promotes new growth so that's the reason for cutting back new hedging a bit when it's planted. I'd give the ones in the first pic a tidy up to get a nice 'hedge' shape, as they seem to be thriving, and you could take an inch or two off the tops of the others. Just use your own judgement as to how much you take off. The different soil conditions will affect them , but over time they'll sort themselves out. Keep the area around them weed free and watch they don't go short of water over the summer.
I think they all look quite well established - any hedging takes a little while to get going. The ones in the last pic look the least happy. If you can add a bit more nourishment to the surrounding soil, and give them a general feed they might help them on their way. Water thoroughly afterwards and add a mulch to prevent any moisture loss. Privet is tough - in another year they'll be fine I reckon.
Your biggest worry might be the person spraying weedkiller around though, so it might be worth putting some windbreak netting or similar along the fence in those areas to add a bit more protection.