Local Economy

 

Welcome to this group.

Do contact us if you want to meet & discuss ideas – we usually hold meetings on a weekday evening in a town pub –  see below.

30 MILE CHALLENGE:

Could you take up the 30 mile challenge and source presents, food and drink for 2011 from within 30 miles of Shrewsbury? Go to the Forum to tell us how you do or give us ideas and details of what is available.

… and here are some ideas to help you on your way!

Wine from Wroxeter, beer from our local brewers, water from Wenlock and then the indoor market or the monthly farmers market for food and Made in Shropshire – http://www.madeinshropshire.co.uk/ – Traidcraft and many of the Independent shops in the Loop and the Indoor Market for presents.

If you want to make things then try the following websites:

www/burdastyle.co.uk

www.instructables.com

Or buy something made by someone else – www.bafts.org.uk lists fair trade shops in the UK wher you can find art, crafts, clothes and accessories.

REVIVE is a Shrewsbury store that revives discarded furniture. They are at Unit 4, Knights Park, Battlefield Enterprise Park, SY1 3AB. (01743 588 458). They are open 7 days a week.

And of course one way to become aware of just how many times we buy some thing you can try a buy nothing day. www.buynothingday.co.uk – Saturday November 26th 2011.

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation supports the idea of a Circular Economy – go to the website on http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/about/circular-economy for details – but the circular model’s founding principles, as described on her website, are:

Waste is food: Eliminate waste. The biological and technical component parts (nutrients) of any product should be designed for disassembly and re-purposing. The biological parts are non-toxic and can be simply composted. The technical, polymers, alloys and other man-made materials are designed to be used again with minimal energy.

Diversity is strength: Diverse systems, with many connections and scales are more resilient in the face of external shocks, than systems built just for efficiency – it applies to economies and communities too.

Energy must come from renewable sources: As in life, any system should ultimately aim to run on ‘current sunshine’ and generate energy through renewable sources.

Prices must tell the truth: Prices are messages and to use resources rationally these prices should reflect the real cost of our activity. It is part of setting the ‘rules of the game’ for positive development cycles.

Thinking in terms of systems is key: Understand how things influence one another within a whole.

These seem  sound principles to underpin Livelihood and Economy projects undertaken in Shrewsbury although of course we could expand or modify them – what do you think? Please go to the forum and add your views. (Please note you will need to register to be able to post on the forum page.)

OUR CURRENT PROJECTS:

  1. RECYCLE, REUSE, REVITILISE, MEND WEBPAGE.
  2. THE LETS SCHEME AS PART OF TTS
  3. BUY LOCAL

1. RECYCLE, REUSE, REVITILISE, MEND WEBPAGE.

Jon Haycox, Duncan Davis and Paul Davies are working together to develop a webpage that will enable us to develop a searchable database for recycling etc. We hope there will be a forum for people to give ideas about how they use things that might otherwise be thrown away as well as information about local people who mend, revitilise etc.

2. THE SEVERN LETS SCHEME

We hope to help the Severn LETs – the local exchange trading scheme (www.severnlets.org.uk) – expand and develop through promotion within Transition Town Shrewsbury.

3. BUY LOCAL

The Shropshire Hills Buy Local scheme – www.shropshirehills-buylocal.co.uk – is to extend to include Shrewsbury so that any Shrewsbury shop / stall etc that sells local goods can be listed. Chris George from Cath Tate Cards, Hills Lane and Susan Caroline from Pengwern Books, Market Hall are going to take up the idea with other shops espcially those in the Shop in the Loop group.  If  you sell local goods and are interested in finding out more go to the website or pop in to see Chris. We hope to work closely with the Fairtrade Town Shrewsbury group to enable them to have a local dimension and us to have a Fairtrade dimension for produce that have to be imported.

Other ideas that could be developed into projects include:

The Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Scheme aims to encourage businesses and their customers to become more sustainable. Could this be something that we could develop in Shrewsbury? It enables all businesses to become involved in being more sustainable and of course makes sound economic sense too.

The Shropshire Hills scheme is for businesses who are committed to:

  • Reduce their impact on the environment
  • Benefit wildlife and landscape
  • Involve local people and visitors
  • Support the local economy
  • Participate in a network of like minded businesses

Please go to the forum and add your views on whether such a scheme would be attractive to Shrewsbury businesses?

Indie Bound have promotional book marks for supporting local bookshops. These bookmarks which are given to the customer when they buy a book it say “Here’s what you did: You kept pounds in our economy. You embraced what makes us unique. You helped the environment. You nurtured the environment. You nurtured your community. You helped keep the high street healthy. You created more choice. You took advantage of our expertise. You invested in entrepreneurship. You made us a destination.”  Maybe Local shops could extend this message into a flyer given with local goods when they are bought?

Or could  the 9 Carrots Incentive Scheme work in Shrewsbury? Please go to the 9 Carrots webpage – http://9carrots.org/ – and see what you think:

Many people now think about food miles but there are may other kind of miles including style miles i.e. how for your clothes, accessories etc. have come… to find some details on some clothes go to www.made-by-nl (not all of the site is in English!) but if you are trying to reduce your carbon emissions then the most effective to do with clothes is wash them less! (or at lower temperature and without tumble drying or ironing) and perhaps make your own (see the next idea).

And finally….

Rather than buying more could we set up a Sewing Cafe or Skills Cafe to enable people to learn to mend or make from local resources?

In Paris the Sewing Cafe provides food and drink but also cutting tables, commercial sewing machines and expert advice – with our history with the Siloutte, the former ladies underwear and swimwear company, and the recent success of the Silouette play perhaps it could be the Silhouette Cafe?

If you want to take up or develop these ideas or have ideas of your own please let us know.

You can contact Rose Stockwell, the group convenor, on prstock@phonecoop.coop or 0845 345 4878.

(and for Christmas 2011…

“How to have a better Christmas.” is a 44 page booklet available from Lifesquare – a new not-for-profit organisation helping people to “live well” in the modern world. Free download from www.lifesquared.org.uk

www.buynothingchristmas.org is a website with an idea that developed from the Buy Nothing Day – www.buynothingday.co.uk -which is Saturday November 26th 2011 (do give it a go).)

Below are the ideas that emerged at the original launch event of Transition Town Shrewsbury in a small group thinking about the Economy in 2009.

The economic message is that transition ideas help sustain the health of the local population – we want ideas that involve everyone.

Ideas include a local currency (long term), a local discount scheme and competitions for businesses and services (see below).

“Non money” schemes – loans, barter, landshare etc. offer alternatives to schemes ones that aim to keep money in the local economy. Skills building and reciprocal arrangements between businesses can bring economies to businesses. Local business/shops keen to do things that are effective but not costly.

Competitions – such as the one in the film “In Transition” for pubs/ restaurants/ cafes to be challenged to provide a meal sourced from within 50 miles of Shrewsbury or shop window displays which only have goods sourced within 50 miles. More cooperation between local businesses. Promotion of all the sustainable things that are offered locally such as mend and repair services. Identification of locally produced things perhaps an S20 sticker meaning made or sourced or grown within 20 miles of Shrewsbury.

In Birmingham a scheme was described where unused food from supermarkets etc. is collected and used to provide meals to the homeless.

Indoor market – this was seen as an underdeveloped resource. Suggestions were made that the photos of the “foreign” markets are replaced with the photos of the actual people and stalls upstairs together with where they come from etc. Banner / name painted on the side of the building to be visible looking down from Music Hall. Large foot prints on pavement going in the direction of the indoor market with pictures of fruit, chops, veg, books etc. within the footprint. The indoor market promoted more on its local base.

Tourist destination – more things to promote people exploring the town by foot or cycling. Well sign posted walks talking people from shop, to Quarry, to shops & to River.

Repair resource – web page with list of repairers and what they repair and information about the sort of repairs they can do especially washing machines, fridges, computers, radio’s. TV’s, clothes, plumbing etc. and a list of the workshops offered about repairing things. Because it is so much cheaper now to buy new things we need to make powerful arguments to the advantages of repairing. (Sept 2010 this is now being developed)

Smart meters – try to get Shrewsbury to be a “trial” town with smart meters fitted in every household and then see if we can “smooth out” and “reduce” the towns electricity use as a whole. Obviously all electricity suppliers would have to be involved and work together to target Shrewsbury for the early fitting of these. Ecotricity tell us they are waiting to ensure the best meters are fitted so this could be an aspiration.

Shrewsbury had good local pubs and beers – and recently the Pubs in the Loop worked together to run a beer festival – it was excellent with mostly local beers and lots of people wandering from one pub to another trying local beers – local shops could do something similar so shoppers move from one shop to another perhaps buying local meat, dairy, cakes, chocolate, bottled beer etc. I think there was some incentive for proving you had tasted all the beers over the weekend – it might have been a tee-shirt or similar. The local shops could perhaps do it over a month.