THIS month we celebrate twenty years of devolution in Scotland.

In that time the Scottish parliament has had a number of achievements of which we can all be proud; from leading the way on the smoking ban in public places in the UK to the passing of the gay marriage legislation.

Furthermore, Scotland continues to benefit from investment from the UK Government in the form of renewable energy and over £1billion of City Deal investments.

However, we also can't deny that there have been major problems in some of its key policy pillars, especially since 2007 when the SNP came to power. I am referring to areas like healthcare, transport and, of course, education.

In healthcare, people in Scotland still have the lowest life expectancy in the UK, living on average 2.2 years less for males, and 1.8 years less for females than elsewhere in the UK.

Meanwhile, late arrival of train journeys in Scotland are at an eight-year high. However, it is arguably education in which we have the greatest cause for concern.

Our rating in the international comparison rankings lists are falling, we have fewer less-well off students going to university, and the SNP administration in Edinburgh continue try to introduce the much-loathed Named Person legislation.

None of this is to talk down Scotland, which is a vibrant, energetic and creative nation with much to offer, but to show that we can be doing so much more to make devolution work better for the people of Scotland.

Devolution was supposed to bring powers closer to the people of Scotland so that the two levels of government for Scotland, Westminster and Holyrood, could work together so that services could be delivered better in our local communities.

Instead, what the last twenty years have shown is that if the Scottish Government is only obsessed with independence and has no interest in the day job, then the frontline services will suffer.

Scotland already has many powers, and will be getting many more after Brexit. We do not need separation to prosper in Scotland, we just need to make better use of the powers we already have.

That is why we need to replace the current SNP administration at Holyrood. They have shown no interest in using the powers they have and making them work for the people of Scotland.

At last week's Scottish Conservative and Unionist conference, Ruth Davidson and her team at Holyrood have shown that they have the energy and ideas to change the lives of the people of Scotland for the better.

Whether it is the announcement on the new school leaving age, lifelong learning pledge or the Blue Collar Revolution for which Ruth Davidson has called, we must ensure that the next twenty years build upon the successes, and fix the mistakes, of the last twenty years.

As always, if you have any issues/concerns please contact me at my office on 38 Primrose Street, Alloa, by phone on 01259 764407, or by email at