The Camden 'Lock' - a new local, complementary currency to create a dynamic local community

Help local people make a living, by linking unmet needs to under-used resources

No_avatar_small Submitted by Tess Harris
Camden Challenge - Thrive
What can we do to support people on low incomes in Camden to thrive?

To have so many people on low incomes in Camden - in the heart of one the world's greatest cities - is nothing less than economic abandonment.

The Camden 'Lock' will be a council-backed complementary currency, introduced into the borough to create a local dynamic community, that is not based on sovereign, fiat, legal tender and a value-destroying competitive market which is anachronistic in today's stagnant global economy.

We have thousands of talented people of all ages who live day to day, on minimum wages or who are self/underemployed. We have similar thousands who are unemployed. There is no growth in the UK economy, or the world economy, and what growth there is will come from small niche sectors such as property.

The council (like national government) is trying to make a dwindling amount of taxpayers funds go further. Yet many of the things we need to live happily don't always require fiat money - £ $ - to be paid for. In particular, services.

The skills and capacities we need to take care of each other are not scarce. About half of the economy is currently outside the 'market' and not measured. Eg carers, volunteers, help from family and friends - the 'economic value' that doesn't show up in GDP.

How would the Lock work?

Examples of the Lock in action: An elderly person is given some Locks, they can use these to 'buy' the services of a young unemployed person to go shopping for them, and that young person can use the Locks earned to buy some additional IT skills or to pay for a bus pass or go to the Odeon.

Locks could be given to 11 year olds in a school, who can use them for some tutoring from 12 year olds (learning by teaching) and so on up thru the age bands; the 18yr old who has accumulated a lot of Locks can use them to buy a discounted place at UCL or a college to further their education.

Camden shopkeepers could agree to accept Locks in part payment. The council could agree to accept some Locks in part payment of council tax and business rates.

Complementary currencies have been used successfully around the world. They have proved to be non-inflationary whilst building local thriving economies. They can be e-tokens or e-banked.

They don't work nationally, however, they require a city behind them. Camden is an ideal size and has sufficient diversity, unmet needs and under-utilised resources to make it work.

Unleash the creativity and energy of Camden; launch the Lock.