Cornish groups want own currency

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Cornwall should adopt its own currency to protect itself from economic turmoil.

This is the surprising claim of Cornish community groups who say the region must create wealth and keep it local.


The controversial idea comes from Ian Jones, chief executive of Volunteer Cornwall, who says the county - where the Prince of Wales owns tens of thousands of acres as head of the Duchy of Cornwall - should adopt its own currency and consider "radical ideas" to protect itself in the economic downturn.

The Cornwall currency could be modelled on local money schemes such as the Totnes and Lewes pounds, which were created by the Transition Network movement, he said in a report in the Daily Telegraph today. In Totnes, Devon, and Lewes, Sussex, the locally-produced pound notes are accepted in shops to keep money in the communities.

Mr Jones said "Communities create wealth but too often it is siphoned out. We have to keep wealth local."

He said council authorities should "plan for the kind of Cornwall we want for ourselves and our children".

He added "It's no good if we endlessly talk about our problems, we need to start doing something positive now if we are to avoid being at the mercy of the global storm which is currently raging."

Several Cornish mining areas in the 19th century set up their own banks and issued their own banknotes. In 1974 banknotes were issued by pressure group the Cornish Stannary Parliament partly "to raise money to aid it in the restitution of Cornwall's legal right to partially govern itself".

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