OVER the summer season there are so many events across Clackmannanshire which highlight the very best of our communities.

From the Famous Alva Games which I thoroughly enjoyed last month, to the gala days held in our local towns, to events like Tillicoultry Community Week which is taking place this week.

Every single one of these events rely on the hard work and commitment of local people who volunteer to make these events successful.

Whatever the event held in your community, I encourage you to go along and join in the celebrations.

Last week pupils across Scotland received their exam results and I would like to congratulate pupils across Clackmannanshire who have worked so hard and achieved so much this year.

I would also like to thank all our teachers and support staff for their ongoing support for our young people.

Our learners now have a much wider range of choice than ever before, allowing them to find the route into employment or further education that is right for them.

Here in Clackmannanshire, in partnership with Forth Valley College, many of our young people have the opportunity to undertake a Foundation Apprenticeship, an HNC or Skills for Work Courses.

These qualifications provide our learners with the vital knowledge and experience specifically valued by employers.

As Boris Johnson was ensconced in Number 10 last month, a snap YouGov poll showed 60 per cent of Scots were "disappointed" and "dismayed" by the new Tory prime minister.

He entered Downing Street with a rock bottom approval rating – with 65 per cent of Scottish voters believing he will be a “poor” or “terrible” prime minister.

Our new prime minister has appointed the most right wing, hard-line cabinet imaginable. Senior members of the new Tory cabinet have threatened to cut Scotland’s budget, roll-back devolution, and impose a devastating Brexit.

There are cabinet ministers who want to scrap the Barnett formula, privatise the NHS, attack workers’ rights, undo the welfare state, cut taxes for the rich, and even bring back the death penalty. Westminster is becoming more extreme and out of touch by the day.

We know that Brexit of any kind would be deeply damaging to Scotland and the rest of the UK, harming jobs, investment and living standards as well as posing serious and totally unnecessary questions on critical issues such as medical supplies. Boris Johnson’s public pledge to leave the EU by October 31 – "come what may" and "do or die" – flies in the face of logic, common sense or any basic regard for the well-being of the people and nations of the UK.

Faced with chaos and uncertainty in Westminster, it's no wonder that support for independence in Scotland is growing, with a recent poll showing that 52 per cent of Scots now back independence.

In addition, people across the UK overwhelmingly believe that independence should be a matter for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people – not Westminster which completely undermines the current position of the Tories which is to withhold the powers that Scotland needs to hold a referendum.

People in Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the Brexit Britain disaster being imposed on us by Westminster. It’s clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country.