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Economics — 6 Comments

  1. New LETS launches in Truro

    A new LETS group launches in Truro:

    Saturday 26th June, 10:00am to 11:30am
    at Archie Browns Cafe,105-106 Kenwyn Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3B

    Come and sign up on the day, and see how to use the new Truro LETS interactive web site to exchange skills with other local people without the need for money. For more info see

    Anyone wishing to find out more about the group or bring a completed application form will be most welcome.

    New members also welcome on Falmouth LETS see:

    Camborne Redruth LETS are holding their Summer Camp on the weekend of 25th-27th June.

    See for contact details for all LETS currently operating in Cornwall (and beyond via Google Map)

    Both Falmouth LETS and Truro LETS get a positive mention in Pete North’s excellent new book “Local Money – How to make it happen in your community”, as does the open source local exchange software used on both sites.

    See if you wish to buy a copy of the book. I can certainly recommend it.

  2. Alternative Economics

    Support your local Credit Union:

    Yesterday was International Credit Union Day, so I visited the Treorci branch of the Dragonsavers Credit Union. Dragonsavers is a proper Welsh co-operative with five branches in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The staff were in good spirits, despite the doom and gloom in the economy, peoples’ money is safe here. I’ve been a member of Plaid Cymru’s credit union for years, and I’ve joined Dragonsavers now too.

    Members of the creidt union share their finances through a mutual bond of common ownership. Affordable loans (2% which can reduce down to 1.5%) are issued to members in amounts based on how much they have saved. Loans can come in handy to pay for Christmas or holidays. Credit unions are all regulated by the FSA and are very safe ways of looking after your money. The credit crunch will have no affect on them. They are protected from the reckless behaviour that has prevailed in the City of London, and aren’t involved in any risky investments. Credit unions operate an ethical loans policy so their risks are minimised. Now is a good time to consider joining a credit union. The One Wales government has already provided publicity and support for credit unions to expand- there was a further announcement yesterday that we are aiming to give areas of Wales access to a credit union. The more members a credit union has, the more they are able to provide a greater variety of services. They’ll encourage you to save, but the minimum is £1 per week, and loans are available straight away.

    Credit unions offer one small step towards a less competitive and more co-operative way of living. I am glad to celebrate them today.

    Some other links of interest.

    Socially responsible investing:

    UK Social Investment Forum:

    EIRIS (Ethical Investment Research Services):

    There is now a website that puts people who want to borrow money in touch with those who want to lend, in doing so, cutting out the banks and loan companies.

    Zopa, for example, offers signed-up users the opportunity to lend and borrow money online without interference from banks and finance institutions:

    Here is a bit about Zopa:

    The Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

    The Cornish Republican
    The Breton Connection

  3. Local Currencies – Make sure they’re Cornish!

    Here is a rambling article I wrote taken from my blog the Cornish Democrat and reproduced here on Cornwall 24:

    It starts with Cornish culture and moves on to local food, but I think the most interesting part is the local currency idea and the need to make any such money distinctly Cornish.

    The Old Cornwall society is a true veteran of the Cornish movement and perhaps the focal point around which many other Cornish groups came into existence. I’ve never really browsed their website before and I was pleasantly surprised.

    “Cuntelleugh an brewyon us gesys na vo kellys travyth” (Gather up the fragments that are left that nothing be lost.) is their motto and their mission is to preserve the cultural heritage of Cornwall and the Cornish so that future generation can profit from them and build the new Cornwall. No doubt this cultural heritage is language, dialect, sports, festivals and customs, but it is also food. So, it is with our traditional recipes and local produce in mind that I would like to draw your attention to the Slow Food movement and in particular Slow Food Cornwall

    What is Slow Food?:

    The Slow Food movement began in 1986 after Carlo Petrini, an Italian journalist, saw a new branch of McDonalds at the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome. He thought it essential to set up a ‘slow food’ movement to counter the global takeover of ‘fast food’, and to protect regional and/or traditional food and drink.

    Since the 1980s, Slow Food has become an international organisation with 83,000 members worldwide, which not only promotes food and wine culture, but also defends food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide.

    The network of Slow Food members is organized into local grassroot groups—Condotte in Italy and Convivia elsewhere in the world—which organize campaigns, courses, dinners, tastings, visits, education etc.

    Slow Food Cornwall works to promote the objectives of Slow Food within Cornwall and within the close-knit network of the movement.

    Seems like a worthwhile project and what better than to pay for Cornish food with a Cornish currency?

    It’s sad to say but the folk of Devonshire have beaten us to it yet again. In Totnes a local currency, the Totnes Pound has been up and running for some time now and seems to be a success. The aim is to promote local services and produce and it seems to work so why not a Cornish dinar in all our towns? Why not a Cornish dinar released as a joint effort between the Cornish Stannary Parliament and the towns from Transition Kernow ?

    Anyway have a look at this thread on C24 for a debate on the idea:

    The Cornish Republican
    The Breton Connection

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