“West Dunbartonshire finds itself in an unenviable position. We have seen the largest increase in deprivation since 2012 of any Scottish Local Authority area meaning that many more of my constituents find themselves in poverty.
“This comes as no surprise to me and my colleagues who have, along with the Scottish Government, been warning that the Conservatives’ austerity programme was hitting the most deprived areas hardest. West Dunbartonshire, Midlothian and North Ayrshire have seen the largest increase in deprivation share across Scotland; this is cast iron proof that the UK Government’s policies are hurting those most vulnerable the most.
“With Brexit, we’ll be losing the vital extra funding that deprived communities receive from the EU, which will only exacerbate the issues further and I cannot believe that the UK Government will change their economic strategy to favour communities like ours.
“A change in Council leadership next year will help. We need a Council Administration that is willing to recognise and address the present Labour administration’s failings rather than just highlighting the good work being done. But ultimately we need to free ourselves from the Westminster centric policies of the Westminster parties.
“Critically, I believe that only with independence will we be in a position to effect the political and social change required to put our country on the right track. As an independent nation, no longer will we find ourselves forced to go cap in hand to Westminster to collect an ever diminishing allowance. Instead we can flourish and raise the standard of living for individuals and families in West Dunbartonshire and all of our communities across Scotland.”