Calling community councils, local action groups, Transition groups, Development Trusts, tenants and residents associations, local traders associations, voluntary organisations, housing associations...
Come and help introduce a local currency in Edinburgh!
27th August 2.30-4.30
Portobello Old Parish Church
Bellfield Street, Portobello EH15 2BP
After a successful public engagement event we are now ready to work in several local areas to lay the ground for the introduction of the currency. We produced an article on this for the Evening News with Steve Burgess, and the council have agreed to develop a strategy to support community groups in their efforts to establish an Edinburgh pound. We want to stress that the council are not providing any funding to this initiative of Transition Edinburgh, PEDAL Portobello, Transition Edinburgh South, SEED, Greener Leith and Bridgend.
The proposal is for a 'Euro style' currency which would have standard 'Edinburgh Pound' features on one side, and a local variant on the other e.g. A Portobello pound, or a Morningside pound... Local pounds from different areas will be useable in any participating shops around the city, but would also retain a sense of local distinctiveness.
1. Work with local action groups and organisations who would like to take part in the scheme to set a strategy for engaging our local shopkeepers, tradespeople, key organisations and the wider public.
2. Research how best to implement the scheme by contacting and learning from other local currencies. Including asking them:
(i) Whether traders offered a 5% discount to users of the local currency and what impact that had?
(ii) How much leakage there was (i.e. how many pounds were taken as souvenirs, effectively putting 'free' money into the system)?
(iii) How they managed to protect their currency from being copied?
(iv) Whether and how they involved their local authority or other large local players? (e.g. Bristol is aiming to enable Traders to be able to pay their Business rates with the Bristol Pound)
If you are willing to contact other local currencies and research some of these questions before the August meeting, let us know!
3. Explore the possibility of introducing a parallel electronic currency for easy payments (Bristol are planning on a sim based mobile phonecurrency).
4. Examine whether there are local issues which could be used to help a local currency to take off in particular parts of Edinburgh.
For example, in Morningside shoppers and traders are very concerned about the possibility of a new Sainsbury's and so using a local currency could be a way of helping build support for the local economy. Meanwhile in Portobello, the fact that the Local 'Porty Shopper' bags - 'Think Global, Shop Local' - were snapped up so fast demonstrates that people are clearly wanting to identify with and support local traders.
Hope to see you there!
Eva and Justin (for the Edinburgh Pound project)
Edinburgh Pound - http://edinburgh-pound.blogspot.com/
Brixton Pound - http://brixtonpound.org/
Bristol Pound - http://www.bristolpound.org/
Time Article - 'Tough times lead to local currencies' - http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1908421,00.html
Worgl experience in Austria in the 1930s - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_currency
BerkShares in Massachusetts since 2006 - http://www.berkshares.org/
Local Money - How to make it happen - http://www.transitionbooks.net/local-money-how-to-make-it-happen-in-your-community-by-peter-north/