Birmingham news and blogs Friday 18 March 2016
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Localise West Midlands

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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 : …

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Hans Reitz: redesign the current economic system and reshape villages, cities and countries 

11 Nov 15

Yunus, “It’s totally unacceptable for a young person to remain unutilized, literally, we have to create a new civilization” A search of this site will reveal five articles about the work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus .

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Financial tools supporting the local economy: the world’s first crowd-funded fee free payment app 

8 Nov 15

“There seems be a real appetite among consumers to buy from independent retailers and support community shopping” Those who have been expressing interest in Localise West Midlands’s involvement with a future Birmingham Pound will also read the …

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Time Banks summary 

2 Oct 15

Assembled because of the 15 th October, Public Timebanking event in Birmingham The world’s first time bank is said to have been established in 1973 by a Japanese woman.

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Local development as a strategic alternative in Fife 

25 Aug 15

Once again many will question the dependence on a global market economy as headlines shout, “China’s ‘Black Monday’ sends markets reeling”.

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Borroclub: sharing made easy 

11 Aug 15

We’ve covered the Sharing Economy concept before on our blog.

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Bristol Pound – Birmingham Pound? 

3 Aug 15

In March LWM’s co-ordinator reported the local interest in the potential of a Birmingham Pound – the Birmingham Mail following up one tweet about a first-stage meeting of a few potentially interested people.

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Will alternatives emerge from the Greek crisis? 

2 Jul 15

Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation thinks so, commenting: “W hile disaster reveals a society’s economic and social weaknesses, it also reveals where true resilience and real value can be found – in the ability of people to …

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Event: Guild of Independent Currencies: June Meetup 

12 Jun 15

Date: 15th June 2015 Time: 9:30am to 5pm Where: Exeter Quaker Meeting House.

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Is a quiet political revolution getting under way? 

25 May 15

As the old order with its class and gender hierarchies gave way, George Monbiot points out that the void filled with junk could have been occupied by a better society, built on mutual support and connectedness, without the stifling stratification of …

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A localising message from former MP Andrew George and journalist George Monbiot 

15 May 15

Former MP Andrew George sent an email message today; though no longer in Parliament, he wants to work with colleagues of all parties to create a progressive alliance to challenge and oppose government action detrimental to those who need help, our …

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Good taxpaying corporate citizens 

28 Apr 15

The Fair Tax Mark is being adopted by UK business setting a new standard in responsible tax practice – from the smallest shop to the biggest multinational.

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Community energy solutions: Plymouth 

17 Apr 15

In 2012 Plymouth’s co-operative city council established a Low Carbon City Team, which helped to identify the city’s potential for community energy solutions and forge partnerships.

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Could Brummie bonds fund house building? 

13 Apr 15

City councillor John Clancy, who once worked in the venture capital market, explains in a Chamberlain Files article,  [accesse d via the Brummie ], that  ‘Brummie bonds’ can provide much needed investment and kick-start building by local …

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America: six big shifts towards an economy that distributes economic benefits widely and minimizes damage to the environment 

3 Apr 15

Sarah van Gelder (right) is co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine which feature powerful ideas and practical actions towards a more just and sustainable world.

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Syriza MPs help to promote the social economy by donating 10-20% of their wage 

27 Mar 15

In a Co-operative News article , Anca Voinea notes that  Syriza has highlighted the importance of reviving the co-op movement, seeing it as a distinct economic model that would be part of their movement for a broader social and solidarity economy.

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The Birmingham Pound: not just a piece of cake… 

16 Mar 15

It’s been fantastic to see all the interest in the potential of a Birmingham Pound over the last few days.

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A new citywide currency keeping money earned in city in the local economy 

12 Mar 15

Above: Karen Leach from Localise West Midlands and Andy Reeve from Impact Hub Birmingham who have produced a currency note exclusive to Birmingham – see http://www.

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Co-operatives: raising and developing the weakest part of our local communities and civil society? 

6 Mar 15

The roots of the co-operative movement in Italy go back to 19th century workers’ associations, with credit services, agricultural and building co-ops forming an important part of the overall economy.

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Preston: building a new local economics 

27 Feb 15

New Start magazine , which champions urban regeneration that is inclusive, sustainable and socially just, has reported on the work of CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) with Preston City Council.

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Future Governance for the West Midlands – a workshop: 24th March 2015 

26 Feb 15

At the UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM Please email to book a place .

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The ‘GDP fetish’ 

16 Feb 15

The FT’s Janan Ganesh recently ‘dismissed the Green Party as hippy eccentrics for, among other things, contemplating zero per cent gross domestic product growth’.

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Community energy: co-operative, citizen-centred, decentralised 

14 Feb 15

Although a couple of weeks ago the government agreed to ban all fracking in protected areas, they are now reported as saying this may ‘unduly constrain the industry’ and fracking will be allowed to take place under National Parks and …

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International localisers meet in person or via Facebook 

6 Feb 15

Speakers from around the world will be covering a range of interconnected topics – local food, technology, healthcare, local business, indigenous rights, environmental justice and much more.

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Transition town focus 

30 Jan 15

A transition town is a grassroots community project that seeks to build resilience in the face of peak oil, climate destruction and economic instability.

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Stroudco Food Hub 

25 Jan 15

Stroudco Food Hub – which has one part-time paid member of staff and an increasing group of enthusiastic volunteers is seven years old.

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Merely enforce global governance arrangements or rebuild and rediversify economies? 

10 Jan 15

Globalisation – the open trading system – is fragmenting; it needs an enforcer – a hegemon, a concert of powers or global governance arrangements.

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Theme of top post this year: realising the potential of local economic power 

29 Dec 14

Mainstreaming Community Economic Development is a major strand of LWM’s work that explores and supports an economic development approach that is based on making the most of local enterprise, existing business supply chains, networks, community …

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Is the term ‘localism’ used by government to promote outcomes that contradict its original meaning? 

21 Dec 14

A thoughtful appraisal of localism by Ekklesia’s staff writers was brought to our attention by James Robertson’s December newsletter .

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A different economic model: 2 – a constant, stable,‘steady state’ economy 

26 Nov 14

George Monbiot suggests that it is time for a government commission on post-growth economics which would invite contributions from those already investigating the possibility of moving towards a steady state economy: one that seeks distribution …

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Devolution: 1854 

26 Nov 14

“We hate to have laws made for us at a distance.

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Localise Birmingham? A lead from India 

23 Nov 14

The sheer size of the city was brought home to the writer who accidentally travelled the 49’s circuitous bus route which crossed many city wards.

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A lesson for Britain: Brazil promotes food security and local food procurement, strengthening family farming 

29 Oct 14

Vested interests replacing the now defunct Flying Matters , a lobby group funded by the aviation industry, vigorously defend the profitable import of food from countries with malnourished people.

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Could the end of economic growth bring fairer more prosperous society? 

7 Oct 14

New book to cause fireworks at the House of Lords Following on from Tim Jackson’s excellent Prosperity without Growth some years back, a new book, co-edited by locally based academic John Blewitt, is exploring the evidence around the growth dogma.

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Think global, act local – H.T. Brigham, Coleshill 

18 Sep 14

Where did you buy your groceries from this week? Did you visit the independent traders on your local high street, or the one-stop-shop supermarket just down the road ? Which you choose will probably come down to several factors including, price, …

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Globalisation – the open trading system – is fragmenting 

10 Sep 14

Philip Stephens, an associate editor, in the Financial Times : “ Globalisation – the open trading system – is fragmenting; it needs an enforcer – a hegemon, a concert of powers or global governance arrangements”.

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Seeking active new LWM members 

14 Aug 14

We’re looking for new people to get actively involved in maximising the impact of Localise West Midlands and its ideas.

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Seeking economic activists in the West Mids! 

14 Aug 14

  “It’s really the right time for your organisation now”  “The Localise Prosperity site and resources are fantastic – I can’t tell you how brilliant it was for someone in a role like mine to find the actions for communities.

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The launch of the International Alliance for Localization 

8 Aug 14

The new International Alliance for Localization (IAL) aims to connect a growing network of individuals and organizations dedicated to exploring new approaches to today’s ecological, social, and economic expanding international dialogue and …

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Swadeshi movement, which ‘prefers the neighbourhood over the remote’, affects Indian government policy 

30 Jul 14

New Delhi Television online reports that t he Swadeshi Jagran Manch and a farmers’ organisation met India’s Environment Minister today to protest against the go-ahead given by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee on July 18 to field trials …

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Has Secretary of State (Elizabeth Truss) visited the LWM site? 

23 Jul 14

A Lancashire farmer sends news of a ministerial statement made by the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs , Elizabeth Truss .

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Calls for a living wage 

8 Jul 14

Andrew Lydon writes that, over the last year, probably the most radical proposal made by Labour leader Ed Miliband is about the Living Wage and Living Wage Zones: “Living wage zones would work for everyone – the people who get decent pay, the…

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True devolution? Has localism merely meant passing power to unelected micro-quangos? 

4 Jul 14

Professor Richard Batley, University of Birmingham (School of Government and Society) writes in the FT: “Constitutional devolution, convincingly argued, could be attractive in England, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland .

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You like what we do? Is there an opportunity here? 

23 Jun 14

“ It’s really the right time for your organisation now”   “ The Localise Prosperity site and resources are fantastic – I can’t tell you how brilliant it was for someone in a role like mine to find the actions for communities.

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The East of England Co-operative’s ‘Sourced Locally’ range 

20 Jun 14

Anthony Murray, editor of the Co-operative News , reports that rather than adopting the national Co-operative brand, one of the independent co-operative societies, the East of England Co-operative, has developed its own identity, based on its support…

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Interest rates in the UK. Heading up 

17 Jun 14

Mainstream economic commentators are currently anticipating an upward movement in interest rates in the UK.

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A Future Beyond Growth: event, Sat 5th July 9.30am 

2 Jun 14

You are invited to A Future Beyond Growth – a half-day event to explore the policy and practice changes needed for a better (sustainable and socially just) economy, and how we can make it happen.

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Localising Prosperity? See Localise West Midlands’ new website 

25 May 14

On the Localising Prosperity website , Localise West Midlands asks if you want to maximise the benefits of economic development in your area: “Do you want a socially inclusive, redistributive, prosperous economy?” This is about localising …

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Reflections – Food & Our Future discussion event 

15 May 14

A quick few reflections after our Food and Our Future event last night.

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Research findings: allotments have good food yields without sacrificing soil quality 

13 May 14

Fruit growing on Hall Green allotment There are around 330,000 allotment plots in the UK, covering more than 8000 hectares and demand is growing, with more than 90,000 people currently on allotment waiting lists in the UK.

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Participatory, inclusive, locally distinctive, inspiring and fun? Economic lessons from Futureshift Festival 

11 May 14

At the Futureshift Festival on 26 th April we held a session to discuss the wider economy and the system change implications of the Civic Foundry and Futureshift approach.

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A message from Delhi about growth blindness: a manufactured disease 

9 May 14

An economic system created by and for moneyed interests: Analyst Devinder Sharma writes about universities, educational institutes and business schools which are churning out graduates and postgraduates who are made to believe in the magic potion of …