1 – What is local economy?
2 – Is it viable and contrast/compliments national economy?
3 – Basic income and the local economy
4 – Can local economy mean locally rebuilding our communities
5 – Supporting empower the homeless, the low income and the most vulnerable
6 – Local economy examples in Cardiff
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.
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.
Basic income (please see Citizens income website)
Its not just about building/reformatting houses into warmer and resource efficient buildings – yet also upskilling local participants. Are avenues of:
- Cycle networks
- local Food growing networks
- Skills exchange networks
- local retrofitting processes
- A more ethical landlording system in style of EPCo [Ethical Property Company]
The vulnerable don’t have to be necessarily those on benefits, or homeless – it could be small groups like artist/lobby group/new businesses who are trying to get off the ground and establish something positive yet it overwhelmed by high overheads/high rents or other heavy constraints that have put so many people in financial or domestic/accommodation trouble.
With the homeless issue finally moving up the political agenda in the late 2010’s, the plight of many people without homes is something that will increase in the coming years and ‘helping the homeless’ should be reinvigorated as a stance of ’empower the homeless!’
What projects can be achieved is up to all of you. Can the ‘container city’ concept from London be trialled in various parts of Cardiff?
There are many positive examples in Cardiff which we encourage you to partake in:
- Cardiff Pound
- Cardiff Taffs Community Currency
- Spice Time Banking
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.