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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.

So, 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 to Christmas.

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 event.


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

Ecofeminist 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

This article 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 good causes.


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 not saving!


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.







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