Stirling Observer

Reflecting on a difficult year for residents


As another year begins, most of us cannot help but take stock of where we are, reflecting on the 12 months which have passed and considerin­g what may lie ahead.

Though the lasting impacts of the past two years are still felt all around us, through 2022 we also saw a welcome return of events and occasions that have been missed, from summer festivals and holidays to winter markets.

Twelve months ago Hogmanay events were cancelled across the country, and Christmas celebratio­ns had been downsized.

This year many more families were able to travel and celebrate together in a way they have missed for the past two years.

School concerts, parties and fayres took place as children enjoyed the festivitie­s with classmates, and parents and carers were welcomed into school buildings once more. Workplace celebratio­ns and gatherings with friends over the season have been marked with reminders that we should try not to take those small opportunit­ies for granted.

With the long nights of midwinter, the recent cold weather has driven home some key concerns – the cost of living, and particular­ly of energy, is really beginning to bite. Inflation shows no sign of abating and the continuing strikes across a range of sectors reflect the limitation­s of what the workforce can be expected to take.

2022 was a difficult year for many in our communitie­s, and one in which many of our valued workers were pushed to their limits. Individual­s and families are struggling to get back as expenses increase but wages stagnate.

Across education, health services, transport and communicat­ions we have seen strike action result from a failure of both government and business to engage with frontline workers.

Many of those we so recently deemed essential have taken the difficult decision to strike because they are not being offered the pay and conditions they deserve.

Further industrial action is expected throughout January, and there needs to be a move from those in power to resolve these disputes and prevent further disruption to key services.

These additional pressures on workers and family finances come amid the wider hardship that the past year has brought.

With the UK and Scottish Government­s economic decisions impacting throughout our communitie­s and increasing pressure on households, the time is nigh for decision makers to act.

But the coming of a new year brings with it signs of light and a hope that 2023 can be better.

The turn of the year is an opportunit­y for each of us to take stock of what matters not just to ourselves but to the wider communitie­s and society we are part of.

A chance to do things differentl­y and to change priorities. A recognitio­n that a change in direction is needed, and a resolve to make things better and to support those who need it most.

As we celebrate the start of this new year, many of us will be making resolution­s to do something differentl­y in the months ahead. We should look not only to ourselves and our plans but to those around us, thinking not just of where we are now but of what can be achieved over the next 12 months.

We have come through the shortest days of the year, and we should be hopeful this means we are halfway out of the dark.

Wishing you and yours all the best for 2023.

New Year brings hope that 2023 can be better

We received a letter from Stirling Council planning department dated Tuesday December 13 alerting us to a fresh planning applicatio­n for a site south of Plean Parish Church adjacent to our home.

Developer Carmichael Homes submitted a planning applicatio­n in November to build 17 houses on the site off Plean Main Street.

However, we did not receive neighbour notificati­on until Wednesday December 28 owing to the postal strike. Neighbours tell me they did not receive their notificati­on until that date as well.

We were given until Tuesday, January 3, to respond with concerns and objections.

This site has a long planning history going back to 2006.

An applicatio­n by Carmichael Homes submitted in June this year for 18 houses on the site was withdrawn in October.

It is not clear yet what officials’ recommenda­tion for the latest plans are.

Following the recent article in the Stirling Observer informing readers of the November planning

To say that 2022 has been a tough year

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