Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation announcement sent shockwaves through Scottish politics.

Whatever our political differences, it is right that we recognise that political leadership takes its toll on an individual and their family.

And as a woman in politics, I understand just how much of a concession families make for work like this.

After eight years as First Minister it is right that Nicola Sturgeon has recognised that this is the time to go.

We do however have to recognise that Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership saw Scotland divided by the campaign for separation.

A campaign that is no further forward at the end of her leadership than it was at the start.

She led a distracted government that failed to deliver the leadership our vital public services and our country needs.

As one of your regional MSPs, it is my job to fight for Fife and the whole region, and I am all too aware that this SNP Government led by Nicola Sturgeon has ignored the needs of Fifers for far too long.

I am an old-fashioned politician who believes in speaking to residents directly about the issues they care about in their community and over the last few weeks, I have been on the doorsteps across the region hearing from some of you.

One issue which was raised many times is the appalling transport infrastructure here in the Kingdom, and unfortunately the Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth, who represents Glenrothes, has done little to help alleviate these issues for her fellow Fifers.

Recent plans to close the Doubledykes, Waulkmill and Tullybrek crossings mean that the wider Glenrothes area is currently under threat of being cut off which will, not only harm the SNP Government’s stated active travel objectives but will isolate communities and affect local commuters.

With a local petition opposing the crossing closure attracting 1,100 signatures, we must ask what is Jenny Gilruth doing for her constituents? Surely as Transport Minister, she should be jumping up and down and pressurising Network Rail to think again? Will we see this used as another grievance issue?

Fifers deserve better than to be used in a constitutional game and have been forgotten for far too long. Furthermore, in Burntisland there is still the question of access for those with disabilities to the local station following the funding application rejection meaning disabled access to the northbound platform will remain impossible.

The fact that in 2023 we still have a situation where people with disabilities cannot access the station is a disgrace. We need to deliver for those with disabilities and make transport accessible to all.

Surely if we are promoting the use of public transport, it must be accessible for all. The SNP Government, of which Jenny Gilruth is a part, boast about their record on public transport and active travel but much of Fife’s transport remains inaccessible, in-frequent, and unreliable.

Local constituents can no longer attend the mobility sessions, run by Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, because the Fife Bus no longer operates on a Wednesday in time for them to get there!

The SNP talk about all they do to promote more environmental modes of transport, but many Fifers will tell you that they cannot use the train and active travel is not working.

We need the Scottish Government to see past their ideological plans and deliver on promises in a way that works in real life. Fife knows far too well that the SNP promises mean very little and do not lead to action.

We need politicians who will fight for Fife, and not ignore the needs of their own constituents