Category Archives: Cardiff Stuff

A face for radio…

I was up at stupid o’clock this morning for a BBC Radio Wales chat about how the St David’s development has impacted Cardiff city centre, specifically the independent shops and businesses around the arcades and the market. It’s the kind of thing I’ve done before a couple of times, either for Rules of Play or on behalf of an employer, so I knew the drill.

Everything went as usual – they fed me coffee and papers while I waited, I earwigged interestedly on the person next to me preparing the day’s newspaper review, then I went in and I did my bit (managed not to swear – phew) – and was just about to head off when one of the production team stopped me. ‘Have you done that before?’ she asked, and I explained that it wasn’t my first time but I’m not a radio regular, as it were. ‘Well, you seemed pretty comfortable – would you like to try out doing a newspaper review for us sometime?’

Wow! Exciting or what? Of course I briefly entertained delusions of adequacy and said yes…I’ve been panicking ever since that I won’t be able to think of anything clever to say, or I’ll Spoonerise entire sentences, or they’ll make me mention something in the Daily Mail, and then I probably will swear live on air…

Still, I’m a great believer in taking the chances life throws at you and I figure this one might be fun, so I’m going to give it a whirl…More news as I get it, so stay tuned!

Cardiff Pound – news at last!

Exciting news!

This time last year I was spending quite a bit of time talking to everyone who would listen about the benefits that a local currency could bring to Cardiff. I firmly believed that a Cardiff Pound would be a real boost for Cardiff’s local economy, and having watched the Bristol Pound go from strength to strength over the last 12 months, I’m now even more convinced  of the case for a local currency.

It was pretty clear that there was a lot of goodwill and support around to set up a local currency, and in a perfect world I would have liked to have been able to capitalise on that to have a Cardiff Pound up and running right now. Indeed I did make some brave predictions about how soon we would have everything ready to launch – however, in my excitement and enthusiasm I rather forgot about the necessity to earn a living in the meantime, ha! Then in September I began a new job and it became clear that with the best will in the world the Cardiff Pound would have to take a back seat until I was settled in.

So take a back seat it did, but for far longer than I had hoped – every time I could see a breather coming up, a new project appeared. Which has been great for my overdraft, but it has also meant that a few weeks ago, I had reluctantly come to the conclusion that if I wanted to see the Cardiff Pound happen, I would have to hand it over to someone who had the time and energy that it deserved. This was a hard decision but at the end of the day I want the Cardiff Pound to happen more than I want to be the person to make it happen, if that makes sense. Though I do quite badly want to be that person as well!

Which is why I am very, VERY excited this afternoon because after having some conversations with the lovely people that run Cadwyn Housing Association (and who, for their sins,  also have the misfortune to employ me part time) I have been given the go-ahead to work on the Cardiff Pound for one day a week from September! My brief will be to put the groundwork in to bring the project to the stage where it is ready to go, and, I hope, to create enough momentum that the Cardiff Pound becomes a reality.

This is brilliant news! I am incredibly grateful to Cadwyn for seeing the potential of a local currency, and also for putting their faith in me to take the project forward to the next stage; and at the risk of doing a Gwyneth, I’m also really grateful to those of you out there who have taken such a patient interest in the Cardiff Pound and have encouraged me to keep chipping away  – you know who you are!

So – next steps…I shall be reviving my Cardiff Pound To Do list which includes talking to the New Economics Foundation; more conversations with the Bristol and Brixton Pounds; putting together a website with information for local people and local businesses; investigating cashless payment systems; keeping you all updated via @cardiffpound; oh, and panicking just a little bit at what suddenly feels like a big, scary and frankly overwhelming task. Bring it on!