Under Humza Yousaf, public services here in Ayrshire and across Scotland declined.

The number of police officers in Ayrshire decreased and the number in Scotland is now at their lowest level since 2008.

Waiting times in our A&E departments here at Crosshouse, and in many hospitals right across the country, increased.

Ayr Advertiser:
That has a huge impact on all of us.

It means that our communities are less safe – with longer police response times and less police presence in our towns and on our high streets.

And it means that our A&E departments don’t always have capacity to treat patients within the target time of four hours.

That’s why I’m glad that the Scottish Conservatives lodged a motion of no confidence in Humza Yousaf which forced him out.

Sharon Dowey MSP: New hate crime legislation could lead to policing issues

The new First Minister, John Swinney, must focus on improving our public services.

He must make health and justice the top priority of the Scottish Government.

The SNP must start listening to the public.

John Swinney must start investing in Police Scotland so that the force can ramp up recruitment and get more bobbies on the beat.

Ayr Advertiser:

And he must work with NHS Ayrshire and Arran and act on the concerns of staff on the ground, alongside investing in the emergency departments at both Ayr and Crosshouse Hospital.

But that will only be possible if he focuses on people's priorities, not on independence.

John Swinney must abolish the post of Minister for Independence that Humza Yousaf established.

He must abandon the SNP's plans to keep spending taxpayers' money on promoting independence.

READ MORE: Plans revealed for site of former Railway Hotel in Auchinleck

He must halt the publication of the many policy papers on independence that the SNP Government keeps producing using public money.

The SNP must start focusing on what really matters to people in Ayrshire.

I hope that John Swinney takes on a new approach as First Minister that delivers for the people of Ayrshire and the country as a whole.