This includes: defence, the economy, currency, welfare, and pensions.

You can also email us any questions you would like answered and we can put it to both camps.

This week, we introduce you the arguments for and against.

Danny McCafferty, chairman, Yes West Dunbartonshire.

ON September 18 2014, people will be asked to vote. This is not an election. It is a referendum on independence.

The question is: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The answer is simply YES or NO.

Unfortunately, listening to the opposition you could be forgiven for thinking that you were being asked to choose between Labour and SNP.

Not the case. It is simply a blatant attempt to get people to vote along traditional party lines rather than on the question.

Ignore it and stick with the question.

YES West Dunbartonshire was formed in 2013 bringing together people from all political parties under one banner to campaign for a YES vote.

Since then the local Yes Campaign has successfully brought together Labour Party supporters, SNP, SSP, Al Clutha Cumann and Greens in a common cause.

People who have campaigned against each other over many years have travelled different paths but arrived at the same conclusion.

Most importantly, people who are in no political party have also become involved — youth, students, senior citizens, trade unionists, musicians, artists, business people.

The range of support is widespread and growing. Our country and local communities would be better served by having control over all economic, social and political decision making rather than continuing to leave it in the hands of what has become an increasingly remote, uncaring, discredited Westminster Parliament which has little in common with our social values and cares less about our needs. Deep down we all know that.

Westminster politicians have become arrogant in their belief that they can do and say what they want, having brainwashed voters to unquestioningly turn out every five years to put them back into power. It is time that arrogance and belief was shattered.

If we want change we have to make it happen.

That means people taking power away from Westminster and into their own hands through a Scottish Parliament guided by a written constitution which no political party can overrule, rather than an unwritten constitution determined solely by an unelected House of Lords and implemented by an increasingly out of touch House of Commons.

A constitution for a forward-looking independent Scotland which outlaws weapons of mass destruction from Scottish soil; which enshrines human rights and civil liberties in law; which guarantees the Welfare State and for the first time ever making it illegal to discriminate against women in any way.

With over 50 per cent of the population women still do not have equality.

It has been said that women are mostly undecided on how to vote. Women for Independence are proudly carrying the torch of the early suffragettes.

There is unfinished business. If women want change women have to make it happen. A vote for YES is a vote for equality.

This is not just another election, it is a social revolution.

There is a positive wealth of information available justifying a YES vote. That case will be made by September 2014. There needs to be change. Choose hope not fear.

The case for NO: better together THE referendum takes place on September 18 and it’s the biggest decision our country will ever make.

What’s best for families in West Dunbartonshire? Do you want to stay part of the most successful union of nations the world’s ever known? Or take a leap in the dark and risk the future of our children and grandchildren, on the say so of Alex Salmond?

Over the past year we’ve been campaigning in streets and town centres across the whole area. One of the big issues which comes up time and time again is Faslane. What would happen to the 11,000 people whose jobs depend on the base if Alex Salmond sends the Royal Navy an eviction notice?

People are also worried about the SNP’s currency plans. It’s becoming increasingly clear that if we leave the UK we lose the pound. But this is about so much more than the coins and notes in our pockets. With families in West Dunbartonshire already facing a cost of living crisis, why would we want to risk higher mortgage payments and credit card bills by joining the euro or starting a new currency?

But that’s not the only reason we want to keep the UK together. We believe that with devolution Scotland can have the best of both worlds.

We can have a strong Scottish Parliament deciding on our nation’s health, education and policing — and still have the strength and security of being part of one of the world’s biggest economies.

We know from our own lives it’s best to do some things alone, and others it’s best to do jointly. Working together and pooling resources has been the basis of the UK for over three hundred years. Let’s not throw that away.

Take the example of the banking crisis. When the Scottish banks went under, the whole UK pitched in to stop the cash machines running dry. Nobody cared if the banks’ headquarters were in Edinburgh or Essex.

Sharing the risks and pooling our resources across the whole of the UK also protects our pensions. People are living longer, which is great news. But it means we have to plan for looking after more older people.

Scotland will have more older citizens and fewer people of working age than the rest of the UK. So it makes sense to have 60 million people paying into the pension pot, rather than five million.

Shipbuilding on the Clyde also benefits from being part of a bigger economy. The UK Government has already brought forward the orders of three patrol boats and named the Clyde as the preferred choice for the type 26 contract. The fact is, as part of the UK we can pool our defence resources together to protect Scottish jobs on the Clyde.

Alex Salmond says we can have everything we want and pay no extra tax. Anyone who has ever balanced a household budget realises this isn’t true.

Common sense tells us it’s best to pool resources. We all know this. That’s why we are asking you to keep Scotland part of the UK.

September 18 heralds the biggest vote in Scotland’s history.

In the run up to the independence referendum, the Reporter will invite Danny McCafferty, chairman of Yes West Dunbartonshire, and Labour Jackie Baillie MSP, from Better Together, to address the key issues affecting this area and beyond.

This includes: defence, the economy, currency, welfare, and pensions.

You can also email us any questions you would like answered and we can put it to both camps.

This week, we introduce you the arguments for and against.

Do you have a questions on the Independence Referendum? Email:, you can also email us your views and comments.