to Richmond & Hambleton Local Exchange Trading Scheme.
LETS (Local Exchange Trading Schemes) are about local trading (without
the need for money). LETS are open to all, and all kinds of skills are
both valued and needed. They are grassroots schemes and need no
specialist skills to operate.
A group of local people get together, and compile a directory of skills
& goods that they have to offer and need. This directory is then
distributed amongst members and they exchange skills & goods using a
local currency, usually named after a local feature - "Palms"
in Falmouth, "Carts" in Redruth, "Pecs" in Penzance,
"Buzzards" in Leighton Buzzard, "Bobbins" in
and "Cobbles" in Richmond.
The currency is information only rather than a commodity in its own
right. No interest is charged or credited, and there is no stigma about
going into debit, as debit represents a future commitment to offer
skills to another member, rather than a financial penalty imposed by a
Unlike barter you do not have to trade 1 to 1 (e.g. - one may do
computer work for several members, and get lifts, food, haircuts etc.
from others). If you enjoy what you do, whether it is your job or a
hobby, someone else on the group will probably benefit from it.
Accounts are kept of transactions and are freely available to all in the
group. When trading, the "buyer" makes out a LETS
"cheque" to the "seller" for the amount of local
currency agreed between them for the job. It is then the responsibility
of the seller to send this cheque to the LETS group Accountant.
Transactions can include a sterling component to cover any cash costs
incurred (e.g. petrol, materials etc.) but only the local currency part
is recorded on the LETS accounts. The scheme itself is non profit making
- most groups charge a few pounds annually to cover external sterling
costs (postage, photocopying etc.) and a few units of local currency to
cover Admin time and labour.