ON Friday, I attended Glasgow’s annual State of the City Economy Conference to hear directly from business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs about how they are feeling about our city’s economic future.

Before I get into the crux of their findings, I want to address the non-existent elephant in the room: the boycott by the Greens of this event due to BAE Systems speaking on one of the panels. This is the sort of gesture, student-like politics we’ve come to expect from them.

They are openly anti-growth when it comes to the economy so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at their lack of attendance on Friday. I am sure that business leaders struggling financially would have been desperate to hear their ideas to grow the economy, without being in favour of economic growth…

While their cheap publicity stunt may have got them some headlines, I want to highlight something that Glasgow Times readers may not have read about.

A live poll among business leaders took place, and Glasgow’s council leaders in attendance – including Susan Aitken – must have been taken aback by the snap findings.

When asked how confident they felt about Glasgow’s economic future compared to the same point last year, a majority either said they were less confident or felt the same.

A total of 65% of those who answered the poll gave a response that told the council that Glasgow has stagnated or is doing worse than last year. Hardly the early Christmas present that Susan Aitken and the SNP council would have been looking for.

But what should really worry the council leadership team is the lack of surprise among opposition politicians like me.

In the last year alone, this out-of-touch SNP council administration has shown it is not interested in attracting private investment or supporting businesses.

Its Low Emission Zone was fought in the courts by the private sector and is sacking hard-working taxi and private hire drivers. Those in the night-time economy will tell you on most night’s Glasgow is like a ghost-town, with many people opting to avoid the city centre due to horrendous public transport or no taxis to get them home.

Just a couple of months ago, we saw the centrepiece of the SNP’s thinking with their launch of the Golden Z strategy, so for businesses to have such a negative view of the future of our city isn’t just embarrassing for our local SNP leaders, it’s embarrassing for our city.

We desperately need a more proactive and pro-business administration in the City Chambers, one who sees private investment, development and growth as a good thing and not a bad thing.

As for the leader’s speech at the conference, it was full of warm words but struggled to outline any meaningful actions her administration will take.

We heard mention of the city’s status of an investment zone – thanks to the UK Government – but little of what it will mean.

And I’ve yet to hear if council officials have listened to my call for Glasgow to engage with those who built the Las Vegas Sphere, to bring their development to this city after London’s anti-growth mayor turned them away.

I will always fight for Glasgow and put aside party politics to bring opportunity and jobs to our magnificent city. It’s why in the previous term I worked and voted for the council’s economic strategy after SNP councillors accepted our amendment.

What’s happened in this new term is the SNP have ditched common sense for an anti-jobs agenda with the Scottish Greens – the same Greens who organised a protest against them last week.

So, my offer to Susan Aitken is this, let’s put aside party politics and ditch the anti-investment Greens. Work constructively with me and the UK Government to create opportunity here in our city, because if you don’t I fear it will be more than 65% of job creators who’ll have no confidence in this administration at next year’s conference.