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United Kingdom - August 18

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Stark warning on Britain's shrinking coast

Nigel Morris, The Independent
Stretches of Britain's coastline are doomed and plans will soon have to be drawn up to evacuate people from the most threatened areas, the new head of the Environment Agency warns today.

In his first interview since taking office, Lord Smith of Finsbury says Britain faces hard choices over which areas of our coast to defend and which to allow the sea to reclaim. He said detailed work was already far advanced on identifying areas of the east and south coasts which were most vulnerable to erosion, and called on ministers to give emergency help to families whose homes will be lost.

In a wide-ranging interview, Lord Smith, a former cabinet minister, also warns that the Government is not taking the environment seriously in a series of key projects. He says:

*Building a third runaway at Heathrow Airport would be a "mistake" because of pollution and aircraft noise;

*Plans for a new generation of coal-fired electric power stations should be abandoned until the Government is certain they will not pump out harmful gases;

*The proposed Severn barrage will destroy fish stocks and wreck bird habitats.
(18 August 2008)


Town that gave itself a licence to print money

Jamie Doward and Naomi Loomes, The Observer
Lewes in East Sussex hopes to safeguard its traditions by issuing a local currency

The value of sterling may be plummeting as fears grow over the depth of a possible recession. But in the scenic East Sussex town of Lewes - famous for its bonfire night parties and bewildering number of pubs - a handy alternative is about to become available.

Next month, in the latest sign that localism is a coming force in British everyday life, Lewes will launch its own currency. In doing so, it joins a growing list of communities around the world attempting to protect regional economies and preserve the distinctive 'feel' of towns and villages.

The Lewes pound will initially be accepted in around 30 locally owned shops and a first run of 10,000-plus notes is expected. It is the largest-scale launch of a local currency in the UK since Lewes had its own pound in the 19th century and, in a coup for the organisers, the town's branch of Barclays bank has agreed to accept it...
(17 August 2008)

Lewes is one of the Transition Towns. This follows on from the Totnes Pound in Devon.-SO


Locals barter for beer with food

BBC Online
Locals at a village pub in Norfolk are beating the credit crunch - by bartering home-grown produce for pints.

The Pigs public house, in Edgefield, near Holt, encourages drinkers to contribute to its traditional food menu in return for free alcohol.

A sign placed inside the pub reads: "If you grow, breed, shoot or steal anything that may look at home on our menu, bring it in and let's do a deal."

Fresh fruit, fish, meat and vegetables have been traded for pints.

Meals or vouchers have also been exchanged for produce, depending on its size, quantity and quality.

Manager Cloe Wasey, 24, said the offer has been a success as people have started to feel the credit crunch.
(14 August 2008)

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