WMCA’s new Inclusive Growth Unit

Posted Posted in Devolution, Economy, Local economies, Localisation

We’re really pleased to be part of the WMCA’s new Inclusive Growth Unit https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/linking-cranes-with-communities-wmca-launches-inclusive-growth-unit/. It’s an opportunity to go beyond a focus on ‘problem people’ to the systemic reasons why we fail to share prosperity and how this can be addressed regionally. We will be coordinating the input of civil society organisations into the inclusive growth agenda as well as […]

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 […]

International Alliance for Localization: update

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Economy, Local economies, Localisation, Microfinance, Politics, Transition

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 and/or in person – a few pictured below. Localise West Midlands later became one of the member organisations. Last July’s LWM blog – […]

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 […]

The Centre for Retail Research – some common ground?

Posted Posted in Localisation, Retail

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 suppliers. In an article on its website, a ‘recalibration of policy’ is advocated. Themes relevant today: Create a comprehensive industrial strategy, based […]

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 […]

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 […]

Cargonomia: shrinking the distance between producers and consumers 

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Economy, Employment, Energy, Environment, Food, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, People power, Procurement, Trade, Transition, Transport, Urban

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. In March thumbnail sketches of three ethical local banks were published here. The local food movement is about growing food and also shrinking the distance between producers and consumers — and a new initiative in Hungary is […]

A local alternative to Uber?

Posted Posted in City council, Economy, Employee ownership, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Mutuals, Urban

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. More information about its problems and bans in several cities and countries may be seen on the West Midlands New Economics site. The New Economics […]

Localising new-build housing

Posted Posted in Economy, Employment, Energy, Environment, Food, Housing, Local economies, Localisation, Planning, Procurement

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 edge of Newquay. There is an emphasis on local labour, materials and procurement. “How society chooses to house people is every bit as […]