Birmingham Council’s policy of ‘Local Wealth Building’ through new municipal services and local procurement

Posted Posted in City council, Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Education, Employment, Energy, Finance, Procurement

. Introducing a fifteen-page paper ‘A REBIRTH OF MUNICIPAL SOCIALISM’ IN BIRMINGHAM? by RICHARD HATCHER Speaking to Labour Councillors in Nottingham on 3 February 2018, Jeremy Corbyn said ‘Labour councils are taking measures to bring services back in-house and reject costly PFI-style models and to show the efficiency and resourcefulness of local government. …With amazing creativity in the toughest of […]

A civil society strategy is announced

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Finance, Local government

An inquiry into civil society, chaired by Julia Unwin, former chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that many poorer communities feel neglected. Ms Unwin said: “Across England people have told us that they feel ignored, and that decisions that directly affect their lives are taken without their involvement. A shift in power is needed so that the voice […]

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

Posted Posted in Banks, City council, Employment, Energy, Environment, Finance, Local economies, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Renewable energy, Tax, Transition

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. LA’s charter currently prohibits the creation of industrial or commercial enterprises by the city without voter approval. The City Council voted on June 29th to put a measure on […]

New impetus for community energy

Posted Posted in City council, Council, Economy, Energy, Environment, Finance, Renewable energy, Transition

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. Community energy projects, set up to generate renewable energy, are reinvesting the proceeds from the sale of electricity into the locality. Sylvia Pfeifer describes them as part of a wider trend […]

A fair and sustainable local way of feeding urban communities

Posted Posted in Economy, Fair trade, Finance, Food, Import substitution, Local economies, Low carbon, Procurement, Retail, Sustainability, Trade, Transition, Transport, Urban

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. Two of her suppliers, Martin and Sarah Mackey, grow potatoes and kale, in Kent as tenants on their holding, Ripple Farm. They sell some of […]

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

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Employment, Finance, Local economies, Localisation, People power, Social Enterprise, Transition

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. ‘Community Asset Transfer’ or in Scotland ‘Asset Transfer’ has enabled thousands of buildings and spaces across England, such as swimming pools, town halls, libraries and parks to be taken on and successfully managed by community organisations for […]

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 […]

Anchoring community wealth

Posted Posted in City council, Devolution, Economy, Employment, EU, Finance, Food, Local economies, Localisation, People power, Procurement, Regional economies, Transition, Urban

Preston’s skyline: Carl Ji, a Chinese student, at the University of Central Lancashire Austerity has been devolved to local councils and, perversely, areas with higher levels of poverty have been hit hardest, councils have on average faced 40% cuts in their budgets. In the face of adversity councils such as Preston have responded by bringing together anchor institutions and working with […]

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 […]

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 […]