We are now only days away from the beginning of the UN Climate Change Conference when world leaders and delegates from across the globe will descend on Glasgow to attempt to negotiate an agreement to address one of the greatest challenges of our times.

In advance of the summit, the UK Government has set out its own ambitious plans – recently publishing a landmark Net Zero Strategy outlining how the UK will deliver on our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The strategy includes measures to help businesses and consumers move to clean power, reduce Britain’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, and leverage up to £90 billion in private investment to support hundreds of thousands of green jobs of the future.

The UK Government has been hard at work around the world convincing other countries to step up to the plate and follow our example, and last month secured from President Joe Biden a pledge to double US spending on helping poorer countries fight climate change.

I hope we will see similar commitments and progress towards tackling our environmental responsibilities as the conference gets to work.

Here in Glasgow however, the council’s SNP administration has woefully neglected its own environmental responsibilities and in doing so has caused this great city international embarrassment.

Media outlets from all over the world are reporting in great detail about the state of our streets – focusing on the very same issues that Glaswegians have raised on a daily basis for months; overflowing bins, abandoned refuse, fly-tipping and rodent infestation.

Only a few days ago a cartoon appeared in the pages of an Australian newspaper depicting two rats, one dressed in a COP26 t-shirt, enjoying the surroundings of a littered street adorned with a bin spilling over with rubbish and spray painted with the words ‘SNP Rule’.

At a time when the city is under the global spotlight, I’m ashamed that this is the image of Glasgow being beamed around the world.

Ashamed but unfortunately not surprised, because I’ve been telling the SNP to get a grip on the waste crisis they created in the city for over a year.

I campaigned hard against their failed cleansing policies that saw cuts to bin collections in the middle of a global pandemic and a charge on bulk uplifts introduced only months after Glasgow was named and shamed the fly-tipping capital of Britain.

The council’s SNP administration ignored me, just like they’re used to ignoring the concerns of everyday Glaswegians at the state of their local communities under the failed leadership of Susan Aitken.

Ms Aitken, in typical nationalist fashion, has doubled down on her deflection tactics in recent days – confirming to BBC Radio Scotland that she was still confident the city could be “spruced up” and throwing her SNP colleague, Edinburgh City Council Leader Adam McVey, under the bus by saying that the capital had it worse than Glasgow when it comes to their respective records on litter.

The truth is that Scots don’t care about which SNP leader happens to be the most incompetent at any given time, they just want their neighbourhoods to be free from the blight of antisocial fly tipping and their bins to be free from rodent infestation caused by overflowing rubbish.

So while every single resident of this planet has a crucial stake in the outcome of the forthcoming COP26 summit, the pressing environmental challenges facing Glasgow can be resolved much closer to home.

They require political leadership to face up to the seriousness of the problems we face and to meet them head on.

I will shortly be outlining my group’s response to Glasgow’s waste crisis, and in the run up to next year’s local government elections the Glasgow Conservatives will publish a detailed manifesto on our ideas to clean up the city.

In the meantime, it’s time that Susan Aitken and her out of touch SNP administration took their heads out of the sand and started listening to the people of Glasgow.