Scottish independence kilt

The Smith Commission, the group charged with the task of thrashing out a proposal on greater powers for Scotland, will have its first full meeting on 22 October in a bid to seal a deal by the end of next month.

The group, led by chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin, will meet representatives of Scotland's main political parties at the Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh to make sure a proposal on how the country would be granted greater devolution.

The five parties represented in the Scottish Parliament will have two representatives each on the Commission.

"Having spoken to all of the parties individually, I believe the will is there to reach agreement," said Lord Smith ahead of talks.

"Today's talks give them the chance to sit down around the table together, find common ground and begin the process of delivering what the people of Scotland expect - a substantial and cohesive package of new powers which will strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK."

The mainstream political parties -Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour - pledged to grant Scots more power over taxation and spending if they voted against independence in the referendum.

On 18 September, over 80% of Scots turned out to vote and, in the end, 55% decided Scotland should stay part of the 307-year union with England.

However, concerns have mounted that Whitehall would fail to deliver on devolution promises as many politicians have raised the question over how the changes would affect the rest of the UK, whether Scottish MPs should be allowed to vote on English laws, and whether Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party will block any proposals.

"It was an unconditional vow that became conditional as the hangover set in," said Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeil.

Meanwhile, 120,000 people signed a petition urging Westminster to keep promises on devolution.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said earlier this month: "There will be no delay while the rest of the UK catches up with Scotland."