Whither West Midlands

Posted Posted in Economics, Economy, Local economies, Localisation, Politics, Transition

If the answer was Brexit, then surely, we were asking the wrong question. This isn’t a blog about Brexit: instead it asks the fundamental questions about our economy that Brexit poses, and presents a different answer. With the government’s own economic impact assessments for the West Midlands making grim reading (worst case scenarios are reminiscent of the early 1980s recessions […]

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

Posted Posted in Devolution, Economics, Economy, Employment, Finance, Green New Deal, Local economies, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Renewable energy, Transition

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’. He says that the problem with this is that the new jobs are frequently in different places from where they are lost and […]

A strategic alternative: localised and labour-intensive food production

Posted Posted in Economics, Economy, EU, Food, Globalisation, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Planning, Procurement, Regional economies, Trade, Transition, Transport, Waste

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 middlemen would be outlawed and vitally important food producers encouraged at every turn”. He notes that at present, the UK feeds only around […]

Complexity or resilience?

Posted Posted in Banks, Economics, Energy, Finance, Globalisation, Local economies, Microfinance, Renewable energy

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 progress. Conway writes about the vast supply chains, financial instruments and legal structures ‘sitting beneath every industry’: Where once a company made its […]

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

Posted Posted in Council, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Government, Local economies, Local government

I attended the West Midlands Forum for Growth yesterday at Resorts World. It was the official conference of the West Midlands Combined Authority, and I was attending on one of two free tickets given to civil society bodies, as part of the group of civil society organisations aiming to have a voice in combined authority matters. Tickets in general cost […]

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

Posted Posted in Economics, Employee ownership, Local economies, Social Enterprise

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. A report for Localise West Midlands as part of the Good City Economies programme, has called for a re-framing […]

International Alliance for Localization: Local Futures

Posted Posted in Banks, Economics, Export-led growth, Food, Globalisation, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Procurement, Sustainability, Trade, Transition

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 development and progress. He concludes: “Globalisation, once a means of boosting everyone’s income, has instead evolved into an excellent vehicle to help the rich get richer”. […]

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

Posted Posted in Economics, Environment, Local economies, Recycling, Sustainability, Transition, Waste

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 incinerators. It achieves its objectives through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling – reducing waste to zero. Some […]

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

Posted Posted in Economics, Economy, Environment, EU, Globalisation, Local economies, Localisation, Trade, Transport

The Brexit vote and the election of Trump have been hailed as marking the reversal of the long trend towards increased globalisation. These changes possibly also mark the end of neoliberalism as the dominant ideology of our times. For opponents of what globalisation and neoliberalism have meant in practice these developments might be seen as welcome. Yet at the same […]

Economic Prospects for 2017: Andrew Simms – New Economics Foundation

Posted Posted in Bank of England, Banks, Books and articles, Economics, Finance, Renewable energy

              As John Nightingale who sent the link says, this ‘reads well’:  Each year the Financial Times conducts a survey of leading economists on the UK’s upcoming prospects. The New Weather Institute is part of that survey and predicts a bumpy ride. A lot of the FT material sits behind a paywall, so for interest here are the answers we […]