THIS year's budget negotiations with the SNP have been disappointing, but I hope the Scottish Government will take the opportunity to do a deal with the Greens that can deliver for Clackmannanshire.

Greens have been successful over the last three years in delivering a better budget deal for cash strapped Clackmannanshire Council, securing millions above Scottish Government's proposals, with more powers to raise revenue to keep services going. But the challenges have not gone away and we are looking for more movement this year to plug the gaps and ensure that damaging cuts are thrown out once again.

When presenting the budget, the new minister Kate Forbes was at pains to point out that the amount of money available to Scotland has been squeezed by years of Westminster Conservative austerity. This is undeniably true. However, the Scottish Government must take responsibility for its own priorities under the powers we have.

The government can't claim this draft budget tackles the climate emergency when billions are being sunk into building new roads rather than improving the shoddy ones we have.

The draft budget wasn't the only recent announcement at Holyrood. The National Transport Strategy was also presented, the importance of these two documents in shaping Scotland's future and tackling the climate crisis in the years to come can't be understated.

The National Transport Strategy sets out four priorities for Scotland's transport network; reducing inequality; inclusive growth; health and wellbeing and taking climate action. Laudable aims, but the document fails to deliver even a hint as to how we might achieve them. In Clacks, these objectives could be achieved through serious investment into buses and rail which would simultaneously improve connectivity while also reducing emissions.

I'm delighted Talgo's commitment to building a train factory at Longannet looks rock solid, but we need to see a similar commitment coming from Government to build both the Clackmannan and Kincardine rail stations so they can open at the same time as the factory. Alongside this a further commitment to extend the line eastwards to Dunfermline as a second phase needs to be made. I've been making this case as part of the budget talks in recent days and will keep pushing the Clacks rail case.

Spending also needs to be directed into improving the transport infrastructure that we have rather than endlessly expanding road capacity. It's not just the Greens that are saying this, the Scottish Government's own Infrastructure Commission recently warned it to focus on repairing more roads while expanding far fewer.

Unfortunately, in the draft Scottish budget, billions are still to be spent on new trunk road projects such as the A96 and A9 and very little in the way of the radical action needed to make public transport, walking and cycling a realistic and viable alternative to the car.

We want to see real transformative change by extending free bus travel to all young people. So many young people and families live in communities where bus services are astronomically expensive, especially for those commuting to college or working on a minimum wage in the towns and cities.

At the moment, the proposed budget fails to deliver. Time is short, but it hasn't run out. The Greens are ready to work constructively with the government to produce the budget that Scotland needs in the days to come.