LAST week’s announcement from the Prime Minister of plans to ramp up the speed of public building projects across the UK was very welcome.

His plan will see the creation of a new infrastructure delivery taskforce, named ‘Project Speed’. Led by the Chancellor, this new project will bring forward proposals to deliver Government’s public investment projects more strategically and efficiently. This will ensure they are building the right things better and faster than before.

It is something that needs to be emulated by the Scottish Government at Holyrood.

This is of vital importance to Scotland, where for the past 13 years the SNP Government’s record on infrastructure has been woeful. Key projects for the future of Scotland like the R100 broadband scheme and the new Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh have seen nothing but delay after delay.

On the R100 project, the SNP have broken their promise to extend Scotland’s broadband fibre network, massively letting down rural communities across the country.

The SNP Government promised to “ensure that 100 per cent of premises across Scotland have access to super-fast broadband by 2021”. However, SNP minister Paul Wheelhouse has admitted work on the network will run well late and past 2023.

The new Sick Kids in Edinburgh is now more than a year late in opening due to Scottish Government screw-ups. It was supposed to open last July, but that was delayed at the last minute over concerns for patient safety.

A new opening date of August 2020 was announced but that date is also now in doubt.

These sorts of failures from the Scottish Government are all too common and Nicola Sturgeon should now match the Prime Minister’s ambition, get Scotland building and finish these vital infrastructure projects if we are not to fall behind the rest of the UK.

She has no excuse because thanks to the Prime Minister’s announcement Scotland’s capital budget is up by more than £5.4 billion.

Another project which should be ramped up in speed of delivery, and would give a great boost to not just the East Lothian economy but also the whole Scottish economy, is the expansion of the East Coast Main Line.

Locally, getting more local train services running from North Berwick and Dunbar, stopping throughout our county, to Edinburgh would not only create the potential for new jobs and take the strain off currently overburdened rail infrastructure but it would also be better for our environment, reducing the number of car journeys. It would also benefit national economy, as it would also give scope for increasing the number of Edinburgh to London services. That is why I have written to the Transport and Finance Secretaries calling for improvements to be brought forward.

The SNP now has the money to kickstart our economy and generate thousands of jobs, including here in East Lothian – whether it will or not is up to them.