AS Scotland’s sixth First Minister tenders their resignation, it is difficult to see what real benefit Glaswegians have derived from the 10 years in which their Parliamentarians have held the highest office in the country.

Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon represent Glasgow constituencies in the Scottish Parliament, but over almost nine years of Nicola Sturgeon’s premiership and Humza Yousaf’s abruptly curtailed one-year stint, they have both failed to champion the city’s interests and inflicted devastating cuts that have decimated our public services.

In the 17 years of the SNP running the Scottish Government, the duration of my entire adult life, Glasgow has had no investment in expanding its public transport system.

That neglect has resulted in the highest bus fares in Britain, while Crossrail and the airport rail link were scrapped, and there has been glacial progress on the much-anticipated Clyde Metro proposal. On top of that, both the Government in Edinburgh and the SNP-run Glasgow City Council have been ineffectual at tackling the city’s housing emergency.  

The city’s leadership, whether that be in Holyrood or the City Chambers, is devoid of the dynamic leadership required to reverse this downward trajectory.

Take their anaemic response to the 2026 Commonwealth Games opportunity, for example.

Why are the First Minister and leader of the council not jumping at the chance to leverage more than £100 million of Commonwealth Games Federation investment into the city, using it as a catalyst to accelerate one of the major planned social housing developments that are currently stalled due to budget cuts – such as Cowlairs or Red Road – as a new Athletes’ Village?

On one hand Susan Aitken lauds new development in the city centre, while her SNP and Green colleagues object to any new planning applications, including the same councillor who chairs the City Centre Taskforce, Angus Millar.

Take the proposal to redevelop the former M&S store on Sauchiehall Street.

I negotiated with the developer to retain the historic 1935 facade by Lutyens and Monro, and planning officers endorsed the design, yet it was rejected by Green and SNP councillors at the planning committee in November.  

It seemed that even at the height of Thatcherism, the city’s Labour leadership was more vigorous and ambitious, opening the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in 1985, the pivotal Garden Festival of 1988, then becoming the first UK European Capital of Culture in 1990. These projects all required audacious ambition and effective management by the city’s politicians, turning around a spiral of inner-city industrial decline, defying the doomsters and underpinning two decades of tangible improvement across Glasgow.

Today, the Scottish Event Campus needs an extension to add additional conference space.

Its chief executive describes the shovel-ready project as a “no-brainer” for the city, with a guaranteed return on investment within 14 years while adding an additional £47m a year to Glasgow’s economy.

Yet despite this compelling case that is a blindingly obvious way to generate economic growth as well as £12.5m in extra tax revenue each year, the Scottish Government has repeatedly refused to support the SEC with the necessary capital funding to get construction underway.

Contrast this inertia in Glasgow with the energy of our nearest rival Manchester, where the Labour mayor and his team have secured significantly higher levels of investment for the city’s development and have revolutionised its public transport system.

If you go to Manchester today, the scale of construction activity is visually striking, with new residential and commercial projects going up all over the city – there is a confidence in the direction of Manchester, I only wish the same could still be said for Glasgow.

The SNP are intellectually exhausted and lack the dynamism necessary to get Glasgow back on track.

They are also now proving that they are no longer able to provide stability in government and another has-been at the top isn’t going to change that.

As Nicola Sturgeon said herself, “the governance of any country cannot simply be a revolving door that one party gets to pick time and time again who occupies the highest office in the land”.

It’s time for a fresh election. Glasgow can’t wait until 2026 for change.