Dear Club 1000, 

Welcome to our February 2011 newsletter. Firstly, Happy (not so) New Year! But where did January go?! Do sit comfortably...

We have said good bye to 2010, having turned 1, having welcome on board a growing number of new businesses, having completed our supply-chain research project, having begun the develoment of a B£ electronic currency, and having secured funding for some very interesting work! 

Read on to find out how 2011 is going to be a hugely transformative year in the life of the B£ and the communities it seeks to serve, and how you too could get involved.


HOT OFF THE PRESS!!

B£ goes electronic!


After much research we are excited to announce a B£ e-currency pilot to start in the autumn!
The pilot will be based on mobile phone technology and will allow B£s to be purchased and transferred through text messaging. No longer we will need to exchange Sterling into B£s first, thus saving us time, nor will we need to carry lots of cash with us. 'Mobile money' is nothing new, and initiatives such as M-Pesa in Kenya show the revolutionary potential such technology can have, including helping those with poor credit rating accessing credit, therefore further supporting local entrepreneurship. 

If our pilot is successful (and we think it will be!) the model will then be rolled out across the borough. A Lambeth-wide e-currency will instantaneously facilitate new business uptake, increase circulation, and ensure that the benefits of local trade and production and a stronger local economy reach wider into our borough.


But, what will happen to our beautiful notes? I hear you saying... Our paper notes are equally important in giving us something tangible and a tool to new interesting conversations. They are also a platform for local talent and democracy, as shown by their design and by the popular vote that decided who should appear on their first issue. 

They are therefore here to stay, and will be re-issued once the current edition expires at the end of September 2011. More details on this in forthcoming communications.


Lambeth Cooperative Council report launched


So what is this new COOP Council settlement? Last Friday Cllr Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council, launched of the much anticipated Co-operative Council report: ’Sharing power: A new settlement between citizens and the state’.  The COOP Council report does exactly what it says on the tin: it lays out the framework for a new relationship between the council and our local community. Derek Anderson, Chief Executive of Lambeth Council, explained that such new relationship will be based on mutuality and reciprocity, and will be one in which power is shared and leadership is distributed, as the only way to meet the needs of our very diverse community. Speakers at the event included Tessa Jowell MP and Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point, who both commended Lambeth council innovative approach to public service delivery.

Part of the new settlement is the idea of incentivising citizens to take part in the design and delivery of public services. In the report a Council Time Bank is recommended, whereby points accrue to those who give their time to initiatives of public interest and benefit, such as supporting a local children's centre, or taking our recyclables to the depot, or engaging in green behaviour. The idea is that the points accrued through these actions can then be redeemed in various establishments, e.g. the cinema, the gym.  
In the longer term, points could also be exchanged for B£s, therefore ensuring that local local shops and businesses are set to benefit.

The scheme will be fantastic for Brixton and Lambeth and for anyone who, due to low income, may not have been able to enjoy the local offer of goods and services.  You can read the full COOP Council report here - turn to page 48 to find out about how the B£ will be contributing to the COOP Council vision.

 
Walcot's Foundation grant received!

We recently applied for and were granted some funding by the Walcot's Foundation to carry out a project to link financially excluded local residents to work placement and learning opportunities within B£ businesses. People who have been unemployed for some time may suffer not only from lack of skills and confidence, but are also often isolated and therefore unaware of development and learning opportunities that can help them get back into work.  This project seeks to encourage people to take up work placements and to reconnect therefore with the labour market. The B£ e-currency pilot will be looking at ways of linking with and supporting this initiative. More details to follow soon.

Good-bye Unit 6, Granville Arcade! Community shop now moved


After much deliberation Transition Town Brixton decided that the shop lease at Unit 6, Granville Arcade, would not be renewed, and that an alternative venue for our beloved Community Shop would be sought instead.

We have had a wonderful time at Granville Arcade, and the location has been great in helping us connect with the community, making it possible therefore for us to forge new links with businesses and residents, and showcase Transition Town Brixton numerous projects.

We are very excited that 8 Robsart Street, SW9 has now been secured, and we look forward to making the space welcoming for all.



Events

A Mayor's event is scheduled for a Saturday in March (TBC), between 3-5pm, when our Mayor, Cllr Dr Patil will be visiting local businesses and helping promote the benefits of using B£s within our community.  

Look out for the B£ procession in Brixton Town Centre, and come and say hello.
More detail will follow also in the forthcoming issue of the  Lambeth Life.

See here our Mayor in action in Granville Arcade, during our 1st Birthday celebrations.


New businesses on board

A warm welcome to all our latest additions! They are:
  • OnTrack Sports Therapy - at Fitness First, Blue Star House, Stockwell Road, SW9 9SP. info@ontracksportstherapy.co.uk. Offering 10% off to B£ customers.
  • The Ford Clinic, Nutritional Therapy - at Fitness First, Blue Star House, Stockwell Road, SW9 9SP. louise@thefordclinic.co.uk
  • Copacabana - 12-14 Market Row, SW9 8LD. Authentic Brazilian cuisine. Offering 10% to B£ customers.
  • Casa Sibilla - Unit 67-68, Granville Arcade, SW8 9PS. Fresh Italian food prepared from scratch in front of you. Offering 10% every Tuesday to B£ customers.
  • First Choice Bakers - 40 Atlantic Road, SW8 8JW. Producers of finest Jamaican Patties, cakes, buns, breads.
  • WAG Free Food - 26 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PR.  Freshly baked wheat and gluten free bread, pies, cakes and pastries.
  • KUBIFIT - Personal training programs, group exercises, in and outdoors.
  • Mobile Care - 1 Atlantic Road, SW9 8HX. Mobile phone sales and support.

A reminder

Have you got yourself one of these babies yet? The B£ reusable cup can be used in the cafes below:

Cafe Tana, 96 Brixton Hill, SW2 1QN
C@fe Brixton, 8 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PD
Cafe Sitifis, 11 Rushcroft Road, off Coldharbour Lane, SW2 1JS
Rosie's cafe, 14E Market Row, Brixton Market, SW9
Wild Caper, 11-13 Market Row, Electric Lane, SW9 8LB
Rahel Cafe & Bar, 16 Acre Lane, SW2 5SG
Opus Cafe, 89 Acre Lane, SW2 5TN

Check in store for special discounts. 
Also, use it beyond Brixton and help reduce the amount of packaging going to landfill.

The cup is available for you to purchase at: Rosie's, Cafe Sitifis, Bellantoni's, C@fe Brixton,Viva Cafe and Opus Cafe.  B£6 or £6.50.

And lastly

To find out how you too could get involved in this new and exciting phase of the B£, please come along to our next general meeting on Thursday 24th February 8-9:30pm.

Contact: brixtonpound@googlemail.com if you would like to attend.

The Brixton Pound team
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