THE Yes DIY hub is well aware that members of the Yes movement across the country like to get involved in political matters that are not solely to do with independence.

They might be in the smallest county of Scotland but Yes Clackmannanshire have consistently punched above their weight as a group with a commitment to working directly with local communities and supporting them as well as highlighting and address their issues and concerns.

Yes Clackmannanshire told us: “Since its introduction last year, Yes Clacks have been campaigning locally to hold a public meeting involving the local MP (Luke Graham, Conservative) and other stakeholders with the view of highlighting the negative impacts of the delivery of Universal Credit (UC).

“As figures recently provided by Clackmannanshire Council reveal, rent arrears from UC recipients have risen to well over half a million pounds and this level of local debt is both exasperating the effects of poverty upon local families it is also a significant loss of income for the delivery of essential services provided by the local authority.

“Yes Clacks has spoken to an array of recipients who have shared concerning stories of initial payments being delayed for up to six weeks, complicated and challenging online application processes and sanctions being implemented for reasons which appear to Yes Clacks as being pedantic and unreasonable.”

After a period of local campaigning involving street stalls, social media and the press, and with no response or acknowledgement from the MP, a petition was started.

Chick Hosie from the group explained: “We felt exasperated that our efforts to raise the communities concerns with our MP were always being thwarted and our public statements were being either ignored or misrepresented.”

A delegation from the group recently delivered to the MP their petition with 150 signatories, the vast majority wanting a public meeting with Graham.

Yes Clacks said: “Mr Graham accepted our petition and we had a lengthy discussion with him where we detailed their concerns and highlighted some personal experiences of UC and the negative impact it has on local families.

“We reached an understanding that although we would never come to an agreement on either an ideological or political level we could potentially work together locally in order to alleviate some of the worse effects of its delivery and offer some support too those most in need.

“To this end Mr Graham’s intention is to invite a delegation from Yes Clacks to a meeting of the Clackmannanshire UC Action Group, enabling our concerns and those of the wider community to be heard.”