Economy and Business Working Group Meeting – Wednesday 21 May 2008

TTBrixton: Economy and Business Working Group Meeting – Wednesday 21 May 2008
Where: The Melanin Partnership at Piano House

When: 6:30pm


Sue Bell
Jody Boehnert
Mamading Ceesay
Robert Geddis
Duncan Law
Hannah Lewis
Josh Ryan-Collins
John Walker

Balbir Singh
Saskia Walzel

Duncan’s meeting with Simon Snowden (Oil Vulnerability Auditing) and the Lambeth sustainability officers was not productive – OVA was “another straw”, too much for them to take on. However, OVA was also discussed with the Corporate Regeneration team (see below) who were more receptive (in the long run).

The meeting with Simon Snowden and Philippe (Brixton Green) was more positive – Philippe was keen but the OVA tool would need to be more professionalised.

Ways of making OVA more broadly accessible were discussed. Currently it costs £1500 for 3 days’ consultancy. Jody mentioned that the Mayor’s Green Procurement Plan currently offers free auditing and certification for SMEs, so if OVA could be linked into that it could be propagated much more widely. Josh also suggested that NEF might be able to help with turning it into a more straightforward tool, and will discuss this.



Duncan, Josh and Mamading met with Lambeth’s Corporate Regeneration Team (headed by Keith Trotter), who were broadly sympathetic to TTB. They have agreed to publicise Local Economy Day through their links with all local business networks. TTB has also been invited to talk at the next available slot at their business support network meeting.

It seems Brixton business networks are generally moribund – not that useful or well attended. The possibility of revitalising them through ongoing links with TTB was discussed – Mamading agreed to “run with” this idea and consider how it might work.

Procurement policy was also discussed – they are currently seeking to encourage more local procurement through supporting the supply side, but do not yet have demand side policies such as “social clauses”. Much of their procurement is outsourced to large outside suppliers like Capita, who then subcontract. However, it could be possible to specify local procurement policies in their contracts, or alternatively to approach these suppliers directly and seek to influence their procurement policies through their CSR agenda.

Jody has produced general and business flyers for the event (to be finalised by Mon 26), and has installed a web tool for buying tickets online.

Further outreach – see Action Points.


The programme was discussed and revised. The main change was to replace the Open Space section with a more structured selection of workshops covering different aspects of a localised economy: currency, food, energy, and waste.

The programme as it now stands (tbc):

9.30-10.00: Registration

10.00-10.15: Welcome (chair – Josh, intro from Lambeth – Steve Reed?)

10.15-11.15: David Boyle: “What is money, the economy, and how does it work?”

11.15-11.30: Coffee

11.30-1.00: Plugging the Leaks (NB this works with up to 30 participants – if we anticipate more than this we may need to have more than one group?)

1.00-2.00: Lunch

2.00-3.00: Molly Scott Cato: “Markets, global and local. Do they supply what we want and need?” or “Cottage Economies”?

3.00-4.15: Workshops

Local Currencies, with Molly Scott Cato?
Our Sustainable Neighbourhood, with NEF (includes waste and energy issues)
Local Food, with Growing Communities
Lessons from Totnes, with Nigel Topping
(Tea available during workshops)

4.15-5.00: Plenary and next steps (chair – Josh)

5.00-5.30: Networking


A provisional budget of £800 was proposed.


Honest Foods and the pizza place have expressed an interest in accepting Bricks on Local Economy Day.

John, Jody, and Mamading have taken on the job of organising food, which includes: – getting more local cafes on board – producing a contract stating that we will reimburse Bricks in pounds – producing a map of participating cafes (Jody) – designing the paper currency for the day (Jody)


Steve Reed (or someone else from Lambeth if he’s not available) will be invited to give a brief opening speech at the event.


This has been renamed “Local Economy and Business Evening” (rather than Local Business Evening) to emphasise that it is not just for businesses but for anyone who can’t make the daytime event.

Business Link “Lean and Green” event, 4 June:

Climate Forum, 14-15 June:

Heathrow protest: 31 May, meeting 12pm Hatton Cross tube station

Duncan recommended the Goldman Sachs report on the future economy, available on Rob Hopkins’ website



Approach Lambeth First (Sophie Ellis / Rachel Heywood / Ian Jackson)

Final version of flyers (with input from Mamading) by Mon 26
Outreach to media and creative sector, local press, LCC, Josef Davies-Coates – United Diversity
Collaborate with John and Mamading to organise food

Blog on Urban75
“Run with” possibility of revitalising Brixton business networks through links with TTB
Collaborate with John and Jody to organise food

Outreach: education

Outreach: LVAC, Lambeth College, School for Social Entrepreneurs, LSE sustainable economics project
Contact Julie from Growing Communities re local food workshop
Contact Nigel Topping re Lessons from Totnes workshop
Ask Molly Scott Cato to run

Outreach: public sector, Social Enterprise London, Lambeth Credit Union, Lambeth Building Society
Discuss with NEF re possibility of turning Oil Vulnerability into a more straightforward tool
Ask NEF to run Our Sustainable Neighbourhood workshop

Collaborate with Mamading and Jody to organise food

Thursday 5 June, 6.30pm, The Melanin Partnership at Piano House, 9 Brighton Terrace.

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