LAST week Nicola Sturgeon outlined the Scottish Government’s plans for the next year and beyond. It’s a plan to shape the kind of Scotland we seek – an inclusive, fair, prosperous, innovative country, ready and willing to embrace the future.

The Programme for Government included a number of key measures and 16 bills - including details of how the SNP will support families here in Clackmannanshire and across Scotland, giving every child the best start in life and supporting those who look after loved ones.

This year families across Clackmannanshire with new babies were the first to receive a Baby Box, filled with essentials for their child’s first months. This has now been rolled out across the country.

The Baby Box generation will also be the first to benefit from plans to transform childcare. We’ve already increased free, high quality childcare to 16 hours and by 2020, this will be nearly doubled to 30 hours a week.

The Programme for Government also includes an Education Bill to deliver the most radical reform of how schools are run since devolution began. It will empower head teachers, free teachers to teach and strengthen the role of parents in schools.

We will also continue to deliver the Pupil Equity Fund, as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge which sees Clackmannanshire benefit from millions of pounds of extra funding – nearly £3million extra this year alone.

Free personal care for older people is one of the landmark achievements of the Scottish Parliament and I am pleased that this will now be extended to people under the age of 65 with conditions like MND or early onset dementia, with a commitment to fully implement Frank’s law.

And, from next summer Carer’s Allowance will be raised, with the increase backdated to April 2018 and there will also be a new package of support for young carers which will benefit many people across the local area.

These are just a few of the SNP’s plans which I believe will contribute to making our country the best place in the world to grow up and be educated; the best place to be cared for in times of sickness, need or vulnerability; and the best place to grow old.

Scotland is famed for its warm welcome, top class attractions and incredible scenery which has resulted in us being voted the most stunning place on the planet to visit by Rough Guide readers. This will no doubt result in a boost to our tourism industry which has been going from strength to strength in recent years.

Here in Clackmannanshire we have many local attractions – not least our historic towers, the Ochil Hills and Gartmorn Dam, and we have to ensure that we are ready to make the most of the opportunities that the tourism boom offers.

Earlier this year I met with the chief executive of Visit Scotland to find out more about their plans to support and develop tourism in Clackmannanshire and I will be meeting the chair of Discover Clackmannanshire to find out more about what they have planned to build on their already excellent work to promote the local area.