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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]