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

Posted Posted in Biodiversity, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Food, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Planning, Politics, Transition, Transport

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.  Findings of a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology Soils under Britain’s allotments are significantly healthier than intensively farmed soils. By growing on a small-scale in urban […]

Dr Paul Salveson: directly-elected regional government

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Democracy, Devolution, Local government, Localisation, Planning, Politics, Transition, Transport

Dr Paul Salveson, like LWM’s George Morran and Cllr. Phil Davis, campaigns for directly-elected regional government. He and others from the North met on November 11th in the station pub at Sowerby Bridge, near to the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, and agreed to form a Northern ‘think tank’ to develop the case for directly-elected regional government for the North of England – […]

Time to change: Professor Lang’s challenge: embrace local sourcing

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Economics, Economy, Fair trade, Food, Import substitution, Local economies, Planning, Procurement, Sustainability, Transition, Transport

Susan Press in the Co-operative News reports a challenge issued by Professor Tim Lang, Head of City University London’s Centre for Food Policy, to the Co-operative Group. It is time to radically change the way food is delivered and distributed to the Group’s 4,800 retail outlets: “At a time of growing interest in locally sourced food, he thinks there should […]

In the best farmers’ markets provenance is closely scrutinised

Posted Posted in Council, Economics, Economy, Employment, Finance, Import substitution, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Low carbon, Planning, Politics, Procurement, Retail, Sustainability, Trade, Transition, Transport

Gerb Gerbrands, who founded the flourishing farmers’ market with Clare Honeyfield (Made In Stroud shop) in 1999, wrote in the Stroud News and Journal about the difference between farmers’ market stallholders and those at ‘ordinary’ markets. He receives applications from potential stall-holders a who are asked to fill in a form which states: “If products are made with bought-in ingredients, […]

Should QE now be used for the common good – extending and adapting the work of Birmingham Energy Savers?

Posted Posted in Bank of England, Banks, City council, Devolution, Economy, Employment, Energy, Environment, Finance, Green New Deal, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Manufacturing, Planning, Politics, Renewable energy, Transition, Transport

. Quantitative Easing currently benefits the non-bank financial sector, commercial banks and the Treasury Under QE, Hansard evidence informs us, the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility purchase of just under £375bn of government bonds from the non-bank financial sector has led to a lowering of long term interest rates. The non-bank financial sector and commercial banks now hold more […]

Would you sign this Charter if the NFU and government rethink their GMO and food export drives?

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Economy, Environment, EU, Export-led growth, Food, Globalisation, Government, Import substitution, Planning, Politics, Procurement, Transition, Transport

. The National Farmers Union is urging the public to sign its charter and help to turn around a decline in self-sufficiency from 1991, when the country produced 75% of its own food, to the current production of 62%. It states that today, August 14, is the day British food supplies would run out if everything produced in a year […]

Will the end of traditional growth paths lead to ‘cosmopolitan localism’ ?

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Energy, Environment, Food, Housing, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Manufacturing, Planning, Transition, Transport

Steve Schofield, whose work in Bradford was covered on this blog some time ago, focusses on the real security challenge of the 21st century caused by resource depletion and climate change. The evolution of the international system was driven by the ambitions of the larger industrial states, defined by elite, corporate groups that control central government policy and requiring access […]

At a time of ‘austerity’ for so many, are there more beneficial uses for taxpayers’ money than mega airports and HS2?

Posted Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Globalisation, Government, High Speed 2, Transport

In the FT today, James Skinner, chairman emeritus of the New Economics Foundation, asks fundamentally important questions about a stance often adopted by politicians with an interest in supporting multinational business. . He was prompted to do so by a recent FT editorial “A better plan for London airports”, which cited the fact that Schiphol offers more flights to China […]

Work Locally to Save Money and Your Community

Posted Posted in Employment, Localisation, Transport

Natasha Sabin from Tirebuck Recruitment, based in Solihull, talks about the benefits working locally can have on the individual. West Midlanders are commuting more since the recession hit. In November 2012 the Trades Union Congress reported that the average West Midlands employee spends 48.8 minutes per day commuting to and from work. This is an increase on the amount of […]

A call for more decision-making powers to be devolved to regional level

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Economy, Energy, Finance, Food, Localisation, Tax, Transport

Some Localise West Midlands members who have a particular interest in economic and political devolution, will welcome the call of a district councillor (also green economist and professor at Roehampton University), for more decision-making powers to be devolved to regional level. Cllr Scott Cato, who represents Stroud’s Valley ward and has been selected as the lead candidate for the Greens […]