An LWM associate recently sent news of Birmingham’s Green New Deal to a senior Labour politician seeking policy input, with a printout of the relevant LWM blog.

 

News of  a far longer link was also sent.

The Aston Reinvestment Trust is a project with which LWM’s co-founder Pat Conaty was closely involved.

Adrian Cadbury tells how, during the Aston Democracy Commission, which he set up and chaired, local people brought forward the problems caused by the withdrawal of banks and building societies from Aston because the amount of business being transacted did not warrant the expense of maintaining these branches. People were having recourse to money lenders who often charged exorbitantly high interest charges and to pawnbrokers.

He went on to say that with help from a consultant at the Birmingham Settlement, Pat Conaty, the Aston Reinvestment Trust (ART) was set up as a revolving fund in which money repaid would then be lent to others. Its objective is not to make a profit but to extend its ability to meet the small business need for loans.  Applicants would have to show that they had been unable to access funds from banks, that their business was of ‘social benefit’ and formulate a business plan showing their ability to repay the loan.

Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART, describes ART’s mission: “addressing poverty through enterprise using money invested in ART by individuals and organisations to support those in the local community who are able to create local jobs for local people”. The latest information:

The country’s 70 Community Development Finance Institutions [CDFIs] are seen as a force for social change, with a pipeline and infrastructure ready to deliver finance where it is needed around the country.