LAST week I was delighted to take part in a debate to mark World Environment Day.

I took the opportunity to invite members to join me in Scotland’s most stunning constituency, for a walk in the Ochils where we might be fortunate enough to come across the very rare and endangered Sticky Catchfly – a plant for which I am the Species Champion.

Restricted to just a few sites in Wales and Scotland, the largest population of Sticky Catchfly is right here in the Ochil Hills. which in early June light up the south cliffs with clusters of beautiful pink flowers.

It is a great pleasure, as Species Champion, to have the opportunity to work with local organisations like the Stirling and Clackmannanshire Scottish Wildlife Trust Local Group, learning about the vital work they do to protect local biodiversity and encourage the growth of Sticky Catchfly.

Over the coming years, Clackmannanshire is set to be a green leader here in Scotland.

A £22million investment through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, will see us, in partnership with Stirling University, become the base for Scotland’s International Environment Centre which will be tasked with providing a comprehensive approach to unlocking inclusive and green economic growth.

With already four times the national average number of jobs in the environmental sector, Stirling and Clackmannanshire will be at the forefront of providing the conditions for Scottish business to prosper in a way that ensures a cleaner, sustainable and healthier environment for the generations that follow.

Comments have been made in these pages recently by the local MP concerning the Scottish Government’s record on mental health and the inclusion of veterans in the upcoming census.

Aside from the fact that spending on health per head in Scotland is 9 per cent higher than the rest of the UK, mental health staffing levels are 69 per cent higher than when the SNP took power and investment in mental health services under this SNP Government will reach £1billion for the first time.

These mattes are devolved. I would imagine that Mr Graham’s constituents may prefer to hear him comment on issues he is responsible for and can actually influence. There is certainly enough to choose from.

The Tories have been accused of causing a mental health crisis, having cut hundreds of millions of pounds from welfare services.

Results of a survey in England showed that more than nine out of ten (92 per cent) of the NHS mental health leaders who took part (nearly 60 per cent of all trusts) said changes to the benefits system were increasing demand for mental health services in their area. As many as 98 per cent blamed financial hardship in particular.

The recently released UN report on poverty in the UK revealed that 14 million people live in poverty across the country, while many millions continue to suffer under the disastrous Tory flagship policy Universal Credit.

Perhaps our MP would like to give us his view on the conclusion of the report that the UK government is in a state of denial about the impact of austerity policies on the poor?

But of course, all of these burning issues are neglected while Westminster is paralysed by the Tory Brexit fiasco and self-indulgent Tory party leadership infighting.