Many politicians will publically state that “Local investment is critical” yet there are many platforms of thought and interpretation of what is local economy?
One trade of thought is that many of us still consider strength to be based upon money – when the social values are shifting towards a more holistic avenue of social/skills connection and interplay being the strength with money becoming the secondary process. Such a community connection and engagement will make people feel more secure in their social resources and have local links to go to when they need something done (house sitting, plants, hair cuts, painting rooms, car basic maintenance and repairs etc.) instead of feeling lost and helpless.
This video shows efforts of Cardiff Taffs Community Currency of which their efforts in the late 2000’s has brought people together and skills (and information) exchange has began firmly linking people together and creating a strong social connectivity across the districts.
Due to the efforts of Cardiff Taffs; the actual ‘alternative currency’ becomes second fiddle in many respects as the primary goal is to gain a greater social interconnectivity in your area and just as importantly know your neighbours, gain trust and build up a strong community. Although not exactly a LETS process per se, the Cardiff Taff’s does have a unique set up, process and properties for valuing and encouraging community spirit. They have real happiness to those who are actively involved and are slowly organically growing mainly by word of mouth recommendation.
As materialism has caused as much damage (as denial-of-materialism-and-self-assurance occurs) as globalization has evolved over the last half century, the original local communities have become disconnected, loss of skills and autonomy has created a dependence system which is not conducive to many vulnerable communities. Now across the UK and the rest of the world local community engagement, local skills engagement and local social connection is important so that we can have the resources to be more empowered and independent.
With organisations like NEF: New Economics Foundation working hard to highlight how bad the false economy is, how inequality exists and pockets of poverty are expanding everywhere.
On a national level in the UK databases do exist for anyone to access – the ‘Lets Link’ organisation will show you what exists in your area in local economy and community trading opportunities.
LETS may not always be the appropriate pathway forward and your own community initiative may have it’s own functional model of economic set-up which will only work appropriately in your own district, town or village.