Demurrage - Exciting New Development for Stroud Pound
February 2012 Newsletter on front page...
September 2010 - 10,000th Stroud Pound to be Issued
Saturday 12 September 2010 marked the first anniversary of the launch of the Stroud
Pound. After a year of operation the scheme is working well but needs to expand if
the benefits are to be maximised for the whole community of Stroud. The 10,000th
Stroud Pound is likely to be issued late in September.
Philip Booth, a local District councillor and supporter of the Stroud Pound said:
"The 10,000 pound is a significant success. The Stroud Pound is all about strengthening
our local economy, building new relationships and making us think about how we spend
our money. Over £200 has been raised for charity. It has already appeared on BBC
Breakfast and Reuters International and The Guardian will cover the anniversary later
this week. Stroud Pounds aren't the whole answer but are part of the shift that needs
to happen to re-localise and build resilience for our future."
Money raised for charity - Molly Scott Cato, a Green Economist and one of the initiators
of the Stroud Pound said: "3% of the value of the vouchers bought goes to local charities.
Members choose which causes, so supporters of local charities can raise money simply
by signing up to the Stroud Pound, changing money regularly and spending it in the
local economy. In the first year over £200 has been raised with the for example nearly
£40 each going to Transition Stroud and Stroud Valleys Project."
Six leading traders! - Molly Scott Cato added: "The money donated to charities is
raised from the traders, who accept a reduction of 3% when they swap the Stroud pounds
back for sterling. So the community of Stroud has reason to be grateful to the businesses
who are part of the scheme.
The six leading Stroud pound traders over the last year have been Star Anise café,
Tony’s Butchers, Stroud Bookshop, Kanes Records, Walkers Bakery and Green Spirit
in Nailsworth. Each of them is a local business providing a quality service to the
community. Acceptance of the Stroud pound is making them more widely known and appreciated."
eNews 17.09.10: Dear Stroud Pound member
You may have seen the recent publicity surrounding
the anniversary of Stroud Pound. We have had a feature in the Guardian as well as
in several local newspapers. Molly also gave an interview to Radio Foyle in Derry,
Northern Ireland, about their local authority's plans for a Civic Pound to support
their regeneration. So Stroud Pound is putting our town on the international map.
But here at home people are not spending as much as we had hoped. Some members have
told us that they think if they spend in shops they are putting pressure on the owners,
so they would rather use the same shops with sterling instead. In reality, if shopkeepers
do not get a regular flow of Stroud Pounds coming through then they question the
value of the scheme. And the 3% they may need to pay if they trade them back is not
a loss to the community, because it is invested in local charities. That is how the
scheme is designed to work so that all sections of the community benefit together.
please can we ask you to buy Stroud pounds from us at Stroud Valleys Project new
Eco-shop in Threadneedle Street, or from Uplands Post Office or Kanes Records, in
the town, or Green Spirit in Nailsworth, or Minchinhampton and Stonehouse post offices.
Together we can start building up the volume of Stroud Pound trading in the build-up
eNews 30.08.10: Dear Stroud Pound Co-op member
Our anniversay is approaching and we need to find ways to use the opportunity to
spread the message about Stroud pound. We will keep you in touch with our plans,
but we already know that the Guardian will be running a feature to celebrate the
We have at least a couple of events planned for the autumn, and I would be very grateful
if you would be able to help with any of these. If so, please drop me an email.
Thursday 30th September, 7.30pm , film at The Exchange
Although Iceland is a tiny economy with a smaller population than the city of Bristol,
what happened to its economy in 2008 explains in microcosm the financial crisis.
In this amusing and accessible film, Gunnar Sigurdsson explores how his national
economy was gambled away by a few money-men and shares with us the route he followed
when he decided to 'follow the money'. Gunnar's journey has involved considerable
air miles as he trekked from Guernsey to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands to
track down the movement on the non-existent money on which the Iceland miracle was
based. There he discovered 600,000 financial companies were registered, with no regulation
whatsoever, including 120,000 in just one small office block. His deeper journey
of disillusion and loss of trust is one we are all embarking on, whether we choose
to or not.
The film will be followed by a discussion of what the implications are
for our own national economy and for Transition Stroud.
2nd December, 7.30pm, The
Exchange, Mary Mellor: Money: From Financial Crisis to Public Resource
economist Mary Mellor will be visiting Stroud to share her analysis of the financial
crisis. Her recent book The Future of Money provides an insightful (and comprehensible!)
account of what has gone wrong with money, and what we need to do to put things right.
Mary's conclusion is that the state is central to the stability of the money system,
while the chaotic privately-owned banks reap the benefits without shouldering the
risks. She argues that money is a public resource that has been hijacked by capitalism.
Mary is Emeritus Professor at Northumbria University in Newcastle, where she was
founding Chair of the University’s Sustainable Cities Research Institute
in Red Pepper gives an idea of the flavour of Mary's talk:
Please do get in touch with us if you can offer some help, and otherwise put the
events in your diaries!
Press release 8th March 2010:
‘First UK Currency to Use Stamps to Encourage Spending Rather than Saving’
The Stroud Pound has been successfully launched and is already making a difference
in the local economy. With around 150 members and over SP7,000 spent so far, local
trade is being encouraged and more than £200 has been gathered for donation to local
Now is the time when the unique design feature of this local money comes into operation.
A close look at the design of the notes reveals several spaces on the reverse which
are ready for have special stamps stuck on them. Without the stamps the currency
will lose its value on 1st April. This is a system known as 'demurrage' and it amounts
to a form of negative interest rate. It may seem strange to do this and yet it is
no more strange than having money lose its value through inflation. It returns to
money its true role as a pure medium of exchange and provides an important incentive
for increasing the circulation of money. Stroud pounds are truly for spending and
Stroud Pound co-op members with money in their purses or pockets will need to come
to the Stroud Pound stall, outside Stroud Valleys Project in Threadneedle Street,
to buy special stamps to put on each note if they wish to spend them after April
1st. The Stroud pound stall is open between 11am and 1pm every Saturday morning
and from 14th March we will be selling the stamps as well as Stroud pounds with stamp
already on them - which will now be valid for another six months.
Consumers can of course spend all their Stroud pounds before the 1st April deadline
and avoid buying the stamps. Traders can then expect to see a rush of spending in
the last days of March. This should give them a small boost in trade. If they then
wish to redeem the notes for sterling, they have two weeks to do so at the normal
redepmtion rate without having to purchase stamps.
For further information contact: Molly Scott Cato, 01453 298184 (07890 832891) or
Bernard Jarman, 01453 757436.
Official launch - September 2009
The official unveiling of the Stroud Pound took place on Threadneedle Street, outside
the offices of the Stroud Valleys Project and opposite Stroud’s very own Old Lady
(Teashop) on Saturday 12th September.
Rob Hopkins' excellent Transition Culture blog notes the launch and and here is a
piece from the local paper. Local councillor, Philip Booth, on his excellent site
Ruscombe Green has some good commentary and photographs of the launch (see Monday
14th September). The Stroud Pound is the work of the Stroud Pound Co-op Ltd which
in turn, grew out of Transition Stroud. The Guardian has a lengthy piece about local
currencies - particularly featuring the Brixton Pound which was launched recently.
Molly Scott Cato, one of the organisers of the initiative says: “The aim of the
currency is to keep economic value within the the local economy, but the link to
the local identity is also important. What makes Stroud better is that we have a
lot of local producers here. We have a big farmer’s market here and we hope there
will be a synergy between consumers and producers. Green economists hope to achieve
this kind of closed loop.”
The notes, designed by local artist Ronan Schoemaker and produced by Steve Charlwood,
are like miniature histories of the economic and cultural life of the Five Valleys.
The most prominent local celebrity to feature is Laurie Lee, author of Cider with
Rosie, who was born in Stroud and is buried in the Slad Valley. Local wildlife is
represented by the rare Adonis Blue butterfly found on Minchinhampton Common. Stroud’s
economic heritage is commemorated by the teasle itself, while the lawnmower, invented
in Stroud, and the green felt cloth that is still made in the town also feature.