Birmingham news and blogs Friday 17 August 2018
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Localise West Midlands

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Los Angeles: a public bank with a mandate to serve the people? 

31 Jul 18

Voters in Los Angeles will be the first in the United States to choose whether to set up their city’s own public bank to serve the people instead of private interests.

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New impetus for community energy 

11 Jun 18

The Financial Times reports that the falling cost of renewables, advances in battery storage and the prospect of selling electricity locally are giving new impetus to community energy projects .

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WMCAs new Inclusive Growth Unit 

1 Jun 18

We’re really pleased to be part of the WMCA’s new Inclusive Growth Unit https://www.

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Whither West Midlands 

24 May 18

If the answer was Brexit, then surely, we were asking the wrong question.

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Join Local Futures at Earth, Culture, Economy 

11 May 18

25th-29th June | Schumacher College, Totnes, UK What would the world look like if humans lived harmoniously with nature rather than creating environmental mayhem? What strategies can be employed to overcome the entrenched power of big business, big …

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Irish groups seeking to build community resilience 

19 Apr 18

Feasta, which has sent news of a May event, was co-founded 20 years ago by radical economist Richard Douthwaite, known for his creative, inclusive thinking and his belief in the power of discussion to achieve substantive progress.

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Localise – in New Zealand 

28 Mar 18

Localise   is about sharing ideas, networking creative visionaries, resourcing, providing tools and bringing people together in a collaborative way for the betterment of our community – specifically here in   Northland , Aotearoa New Zealand.

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A fair and sustainable local way of feeding urban communities 

12 Mar 18

Julie Brown, director of Growing Communities’ , a trading and wholesaling operation, says her mission is to feed urban communities locally in a way that is fair and sustainable in the face of   corporate dominance   and climate change.

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International Alliance for Localization: update 

3 Feb 18

In December 2015 this blog reported Local Futures’ 2014 launch of a cross-cultural, North-South network of thinkers, activists and NGOs – the International Alliance for Localization (IAL) – with members from over 30 countries who meet online …

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Protected: Localising Prosperity – a short film 

15 Jan 18

This content is password protected.

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Community asset transfer: news of a Scottish bid and activity in Birmingham 

10 Jan 18

From short-term licences to long leases, local community and voluntary groups are seeking opportunities to take on the management or ownership of buildings and land.

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The Centre for Retail Research – some common ground? 

23 Dec 17

The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) has provided authoritative research and analysis of the retail and service sectors for twenty-one years in Britain, Europe and North America and is completely independent, not funded by the retail sector or …

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Rebuild the local economy: prioritise labour-intensive sectors, difficult to automate, impossible to relocate abroad 

29 Nov 17

Colin Hines , co-founder of LWM and convenor of the UK Green New Deal Group , comments on the Guardian’s recent editorial on productivity and robots which ‘repeated the cliché that automation does cost jobs, but more are created’.

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A strategic alternative: localised and labour-intensive food production 

30 Oct 17

LWM’s co-founder Colin Hines , in his latest book, Progressive Protectionism , asks: “In a sustainable system, would not each country aim to produce its own staple food? Surpluses and exotics could be exported, speculation in food by unproductive…

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Cargonomia: shrinking the distance between producers and consumers  

9 Oct 17

Planet Local , which highlights examples of localization in action all over the planet, is a project of Economics of Happiness/Local Futures/The International Alliance for Localization.

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A local alternative to Uber? 

23 Sep 17

Transport for London has decided not to give Uber a new license, though its app (Uber requires drivers and users to have a smartphone) will still be operational in London while Uber appeals against the decision.

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Complexity or resilience? 

11 Sep 17

In the Times , Ed Conway (right), economics editor of Sky News, describes problems arising from the complexity of ‘the hallmark of 21st-century life’ and the International Alliance for Localization records examples of new modes of development and…

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The West Midlands Forum for Growth? Well if I were you I wouldn’t start from here. 

7 Sep 17

I attended the West Midlands Forum for Growth yesterday at Resorts World.

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Make social care an economic ‘engine’ of the West Midlands 

21 Aug 17

Press release for our inclusive economics social care report with New economics Foundation – launched today Social care may be on the brink of crisis but the sector has the potential to become a driver of the West Midlands economy.

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Localising new-build housing 

23 Jul 17

Architect and writer Clive Aslet (left) writes about a development of 4,000 houses on 500 acres – houses, small apartment blocks, schools, surgeries, mixed income housing, shops, business premises and leisure facilities and green spaces – on the…

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International Alliance for Localization: Local Futures 

5 Jul 17

In the Times , Ed Conway, economics editor of Sky News, describes problems arising from the complexity of globalisation, ‘the hallmark of 21st-century life’ and the International Alliance for Localization records examples of new modes of …

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American executives turn away from globalisation towards a more localised world 

7 Jun 17

Last month the Financial Times’ Gillian Tett met Inge Thulin, the Swedish-born chief executive of 3M , an American conglomerate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (below).

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A regenerative ‘Circular Economy’ includes more localisation of economic activity 

20 May 17

The Circular Economy is advocated to replace and address the social and environmental damage done by the current ‘Linear Economy’ with its ‘take, make, dispose’ model, depleting finite reserves to create products that end up in landfill or in…

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Localising moves in four Eastern European countries 

3 May 17

The Romanian parliament has passed a law requiring large retailers with a turnover of 2m euros to allocate a minimum of 51% of existing space for fresh produce to products sourced locally, from a short supply chain.

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Are the region’s schools and hospitals sourcing food locally? 

2 Apr 17

BBC Scotland made freedom of information requests to all 32 Scottish councils about the sourcing of food products bought last year.

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Event: launch of post Brexit & Trump report commissioned by MEP 

15 Mar 17

The Brexit vote and the election of Trump have been hailed as marking the reversal of the long trend towards increased globalisation.

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Changing local economies to work for people who feel excluded 

2 Mar 17

A link has been received to a Guardian report about the ‘Preston model’ – for background information see Clifford Singer’s interesting article on the Next System Project’s website .

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Storing food in a localised low carbon system 

22 Feb 17

Traditional methods of storing food include preservation of food in ice brought from the mountains and kept inside caves icehouses, drying of meat fruit and underground storage at lower temperatures in hot countries.

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Doncaster leads on local sourcing 

12 Feb 17

As local sourcing where appropriate is central to relocalising and strengthening regional economies, many will welcome news of a pledge made by Doncaster’s Mayor Ros Jones to ‘buy local’.

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The global economy undermines our most universal aspirations — clean air, clean water, a stable climate, happiness” 

6 Feb 17

Localise West Midlands is a member of the International Alliance for Localization together with individuals, groups, NGOs, trade unions and local businesses from 58 different countries, showing the broad interest in localization worldwide.

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The Exeter Pound 

22 Jan 17

The Exeter Pound is one of the many local currencies on the “transition currency” model, like Bristol Pound and our own proposed Birmingham Pound.

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MUFP: 100 city regions hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by changing the food system 

9 Jan 17

In 2015, led by Milan, a coalition of 100 cities from all continents signed a Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFP) in Milan’s Palazzo Reale and presented it to Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, in New York on World Food Day, October 16.

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Economic Prospects for 2017: Andrew Simms – New Economics Foundation 

3 Jan 17

              As the sender John Nightingale says, this ‘reads well’:   Each year the Financial Times conducts a survey of leading economists on the UK’s upcoming prospects.

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Localisation/swadeshi: a programme for long-term survival 

8 Dec 16

Swadeshi has been described by Satish Kumar, founder and Director of  Schumacher College   in Devon as a programme for long term survival.

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Smile, you’re on TV! A West Midlands Combined Authority meeting is filmed 

22 Nov 16

As Localise West Midlands, we are playing an important role in pressing for and enabling a civil society voice about the West Midlands Combined Authority , bringing together people and organisations that have knowledge and experience around economic …

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Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lucas Plan on 26th Nov! 

21 Nov 16

Veteran trade unionists and younger activists see Nobel prize-nominated plan as inspiration for the future Leading figures from the left, trade union, environmental and peace movements are coming together at a conference on November 26 th with a …

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A better way to challenge trade deals 

10 Nov 16

One of the upsetting things  about both Brexit and Trump’s victory in America, is that they have taken some solutions from the progressive left and green movements, intermingled them with the nastiness of far right rhetoric, and made far more …

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Birmingham Newsroom: find it and buy it from local businesses to help the local economy 

10 Nov 16

Birmingham Newsroom , Birmingham City Council’s online press office writes about Find it in Birmingham , the city council’s procurement portal where the goods and services the council needs to go about its business are bought, aiming to make sure…

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The FT and IFIs recognise the passing of globalisation 

17 Oct 16

In a Political Concern blog, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, have all decried   a system they claimed…

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Land – they’re not making it any more – how to use it effectively in the West Mids 

6 Oct 16

Have you got a minute to contribute your thoughts to the West Midlands Combined Authority Land Commission call for evidence ? Deadline is 14th Oct.

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Bringing community wealth to Birmingham 

28 Sep 16

We’re really pleased to report that Birmingham City Council will be working with the excellent Centre for Local Economic Strategies , with funding from Barrow Cadbury Trust and support from us at Localise West Midlands, to look at how ‘anchor…

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Corbyn focusses on decentralisation: localising energy and transport 

26 Sep 16

Jeremy Corbyn has launched an  environmental manifesto  that outlines plans for the UK to achieve 65% of energy from renewable sources by 2030 – without fracking.

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Transport for the West Midlands? 

22 Aug 16

What will the Combined Authority mean for transport? What things do we want to see from the Metro Mayor? How might you like to get involved in shaping this agenda? An opportunity to find out about the new transport powers and budgets held by the West…

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Towards a localised future: the rising global-to-local movement 

17 Aug 16

A New Economy Convergence This one-day meeting in London will provide an opportunity to take part in the rising global-to-local movement and to discuss the strategies required to move away from a corporate-led growth economy towards diverse local …

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A People’s Plan for the West Mids? Worth a shot, but needs the people 

15 Aug 16

While we and some other organisations in Birmingham have been busy forming the Civil Society Forum to provide a voice for civil society into the workings of the new Combined Authority, Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne has been trying to do something a little…

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General Electric says: “We will localise” 

14 Jul 16

Last year came three reports on the downturn in global trade: From the container industry : Søren Skou, chief executive of the Maersk Line, which carries goods and products between Asia, Europe, the US, Africa and Latin America and is now described …

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Post-Brexit we need to build an economy for the many 

4 Jul 16

‘Home-grown solutions’ Yesterday, Ann (West Midlands New Economics Group) sent a link to an article by Neil McInroy (right), chief executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies.

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Locality: community-led organisations, working together to help neighbourhoods thrive. 

29 May 16

Locality is a national network of enterprising community-led organisations, working together to help neighbourhoods thrive.

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Roundtable meeting: Shaping the Combined Authority’s economic agenda 

12 May 16

We are organising a West Midlands Civil Society Forum roundtable meeting to discuss and influence how the Combined Authority’s economic agenda can best meet the needs of all communities and neighbourhoods.

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Globalisation: ’more trade, more production for export and more foreign investment’ is not working – localise! 

13 Apr 16

As news from Dash.

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Update 2: International Alliance for Localisation 

18 Mar 16

In December this blog reported that Local Futures has gathered a cross-cultural, North-South network of thinkers, activists and NGOs – the International Alliance for Localization (IAL) .

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Economic inequality is all our responsibility 

29 Feb 16

It’s sad to hear that Equality West Midlands is going to become inactive for the foreseeable future.

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Sheffield and Balsall Heath: the real march of the makers 

19 Feb 16

The observations of Julian Dobson (Living With Rats blogspot @juliandobson), strike a welcome and hopeful chord after reading the dismal question: “Will Chancellor Osborne cripple the ‘makers’?” A search revealed JD’s substantial localist …

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Does Birmingham Love the Brum Pound? 

4 Feb 16

News from the Birmingham Pound, thanks to a little group of dedicated people – and you can perhaps help us… We’ve been joined by two brilliant new members with real live time to commit to the project: Ridhi Kalaria and Matthew Rowe.

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Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy 

31 Jan 16

A notable omission from Localise West Midlands’ extensive range of articles about, or with references to localism, is a review of a book by Simon Jenkins : Big Bang Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy.

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Update: International Alliance for Localisation 

15 Jan 16

Early in December this blog reported that Local Futures has gathered a cross-cultural, North-South network of thinkers, activists and NGOs – the International Alliance for Localization (IAL) .

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Crickhowell’s tax plan: an example of ‘people power’ raising awareness of injustice and HMRC’s failures 

31 Dec 15

Crickhowell has an independent high street with very few of the trading names which now dominate look-alike urban and suburban commercial centres.

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Quantitative easing to fund climate change programmes? 

13 Dec 15

Colin Hines, co-founder of Localise West Midlands and Richard Murphy, Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, City University, London, warn that the Paris Climate talks are facing an enormous funding problem to which there is only …

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International Alliance for Localization 

2 Dec 15

The International Alliance for Localization (IAL) is a new cross-cultural network of groups and individuals focused on resistance, renewal, and radically new visions of development and progress.

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How and why has the community spirit evident in Stirchley and neighbouring Bournville developed? 

25 Nov 15

As the writer saw in the first hour over a hundred local people flocking into Stirchley’s restored Edwardian Baths, their new community hub, with more coming through the door as she left, she remembered one resident’s words in Stirchley online : …