I HOPE everyone has been making the most of the return of the autumn season and summer’s end.

Personally, the beginning of autumn has served as an additional reminder of the poor state of Glasgow under the SNP.

As both a local MSP and a resident of Springburn, I am fully aware and live with the consequences of Glasgow’s dilapidated state.

The problems include rats, crumbling roads, overflowing rubbish bins and overgrown weeds so tall they quite literally tower over me. I might not be the tallest person – but the situation still shouldn’t be this bad!

Those are just a fraction of the numerous issues plaguing Glasgow.

Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt recently attacked the SNP’s record in Scotland and in Glasgow specifically. Unfortunately, many SNP politicians are more upset with her comments over rats, rickets and lack of public services than with the reality of the situation that we are forced to live in every day.

The most frustrating thing is the SNP refuses to take accountability for their role in overseeing Glasgow’s decline, which has led us to this sorry point.

Both the former and current First Minister have represented Glasgow constituencies while occupying the highest office in Scottish politics. They have completely let down their constituents despite having all the power to change things. Their track record is one abject failure after another.

The SNP’s plans for the future don’t give me much hope that anything will change. Humza Yousaf has suggested increasing council tax, which would leave workers and families with even less money in their pockets. Yet, I highly doubt it would mean much more funding for Glasgow. The chances are that the SNP Government will continue to leave our councils without the funding they need to improve essential services like schools, roads and bin collections.

Even if the money does reach the local authority, the SNP-run council is likely to waste it pursuing out-of-touch and unworkable initiatives, such as the unpopular Low Emission Zone (LEZ). Not only does that policy punish businesses, but it also has the most damaging impact on people who are already struggling.

The LEZ has rightfully raised much concern from businesses and charities. It jeopardises many services, especially volunteer operations, which need to access the city centre but cannot easily go out and spend a fortune on a new vehicle to comply with the rules. As a result, this policy risks cutting crucial services that Glasgow-based charities provide to some of the most vulnerable individuals, including help for the homeless and the elderly.

To make things worse, Humza Yousaf seems to be happy for local councils to go ahead with vehicle congestion charges. The SNP-run council, in response, is actively considering placing these charges on people in the city centre. The effects of this policy could be disastrous for groups and individuals who want to live in, work in or visit Glasgow. At the very least, it will mean less money for households to spend themselves.

Increasingly, the SNP’s policies attack motorists and businesses too. The rates that some small businesses need to pay are seriously damaging their ability to operate. Across Scotland, the SNP government is forcing businesses to pay extremely high taxes without giving them enough support to enable them to thrive and succeed.

The business environment is extremely difficult for so many enterprises. They feel the Government is not on their side. They look at some of the proposals coming from the Scottish Parliament and wonder if anybody in the Government has ever worked in a business, never mind ran one.

The SNP – at both council and government levels – no longer seem to understand that supporting businesses is vital. By backing businesses, we allow them to expand and create even more exciting jobs for workers. In turn, that growth increases tax revenue and allows us to spend more money on vital public services like schools and hospitals. These days, I’m not sure many SNP ministers grasp that.

The damaging influence of the Greens in government also seems to have knocked business confidence. Small business owners and workers tell me that they don’t understand why a party that doesn’t even believe in economic growth is driving so many decisions, for instance the disastrous Deposit Return Scheme that had to be abandoned.

All the anti-business policies from the SNP government have a damaging impact on Glasgow communities. Our high streets and city centre streets are struggling. They haven’t fully recovered from the Covid pandemic or the global energy price crisis.

Now should be the time for politicians of all parties to come together and focus on delivering a better business environment, which in turn will mean we can spend more on public services and clean up Glasgow’s run-down streets. The days of rats and overflowing rubbish bins plaguing our communities must come to an end.