Speed ace Donald Campbell, racing driver Jack Fairman and Dame Judi Dench have been suggested as possible faces to go on a “Horley pound.”

The famous names, all of whom have a connection to the area, have been put forward amid a suggested scheme to turn Horley into a transition town with its own “Horley pound” currency.

The eco-plan-type idea has been floated by Councillor Richard Bethell of Horley Town Council’s strategy and forward thinking group.

The idea is one of a number of possible options which the small working party of town councillors is considering to promote the town and boost its future fortunes.

The four-strong group is hoped to be able to report its findings to the town council next year.

Citing Horley’s credentials as a town keen on environmental ideas, and its support for this year’s recycling and energy-use reduction drives mounted with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Coun Bethell said transition towns, such as Totnes in Devon and Stroud in Gloucestershire, aim to be self-sufficient and more environmentally friendly, acting to promote locally sourced food and goods.

Coun Bethell said: “It’s a self-help thing. Communities decide they want to be more localised and source more of their food from local farms.”

He said this could be more environmentally friendly through such things as more local allotments being set up, more fruit trees planted, local farms and businesses being boosted, and less transport being used for food and goods distribution in the area.

And the idea of a local currency, such as the Lewes Pound in East Sussex, could boost local business, he said, through the use of the Horley Pound solely within the local area, promoting local spending.

One method would see normal cash exchanged for Horley currency vouchers, which could then be used in participating stores in return for customer offers and incentives, encouraging people to spend their money in the town centre.

Coun Bethell said while the supermarkets currently have a sound business model, the prospect for it always remaining so is “rather doubtful.”

He said: “Transition towns are preparing for the future by building in transport and currency shocks.

“We don’t have to get permission from anybody. It’s entirely up to the community.”

But whatever option, if any, the group plumps for, including a Horley currency, Coun Bethell said the town council would first have to sanction a consultation exercise, and then pressure for whatever choice would have to come from residents.

Andy Parr, owner of the Party Pad shop in High Street, Horley, and a member of Horley and District Chamber of Commerce, said the idea of a Horley currency had been talked about by chamber members, who were on the whole positive about it.

But he said: “I think if the council are looking to do this, they will need to work with retailers and local businesses to really make them understand and educate as to what it’s all about, and how it can help them.”

He said: “For it to be truly successful, the retailers have to embrace the whole ethos of what it’s setting out to do, and understand it.”

A Horley Town Council spokeswoman said: “The strategy and forward thinking group are thinking outside the box of ideas of promoting the town, but they are very much ideas at the moment.

“It’s blue sky thinking.”

She said: “They would have to present it as a proposal to the town council and then it would have to get onto a council agenda.

“They are formulating ideas and just thinking and seeing if things will work.

“Nothing has been formally considered by the council at this stage.”