Friday, 19 March 2010

Stabilising the Banks

As in so many aspects of modern life, Marple has led the way in stabilising the banks.

We get to the root of things here. I feel it my duty to use this column to record my personal thanks to Stockport Council and HM Government for their foresight and commitment to putting our banks on a sustainable footing.

If you think back to 2007, you may remember that problems in the sub-prime mortgage market seemed distant and foreign.

I don’t want to claim any personal credit for bringing the problems of our banks to the attention of our Council, let alone to that of our Prime Minister. However, my small contribution to local awareness of the looming credit crisis was to rename the two goldfish that I had rescued from the choking swamps of the boys’ bedrooms. I named these innominate swampies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in honour of two American financial institutions that were having some difficulty in staying afloat at the time.  Fannie and Freddie are now thriving, rather better than Goldfish Credit Card, which was swallowed up by Barclaycard in April 2008.

Stockport provided especially valiant support to our danbank, but when local measures proved inadequate, our Council petitioned central government for funding to put it on a sound footing, thereby ensuring our plucky citizens and businesses a safe homecoming in these troubled times.

So it was that, in November 2007, the Department for Transport of Her Majesty’s Government made an award of £3.22 million to stabilise Dan Bank for future generations. Yes, here where the River Mersey may once have marked the border between Mercia and Danelaw, Dan Bank is still the place for a Dane of substance to stash his or her hoard of Geld.

No sooner had Dan Bank been rescued than we received a Letter to the Householder at number 72, Mandall Mansions. Reading over Mrs M’s shoulder, I was horrified to learn from the Borough Engineer, that the Bank on which we rest was in imminent danger of slipping into the old Tan Pits below. Their plans involved a 50 foot high apple-corer, a very large concrete mixer, and a pair of traffic lights stuck on red for the next 3 months. They also decided to raise the height of the parapet wall, so our teenagers won’t wobble off it when they’re drunk.

It's a big one, John

I may have heard someone suggesting that a tanning would do no harm, but here in the Bridge, most of us take a more relaxed view. We look at the big picture: today’s carefree teenager is tomorrow’s carefree banker.

I digress. Let us also commend Stockport’s communications on the Dan Bank project. Every household has received not one, but nine periodic newsletters, each printed on recycled paper, in a natty poly-ethylene wrapper.  Our Council has provided not one, but two web sites. And a podcast. We have an Information Line phone service, with an answer phone facility and interpretation. Twits can even get txts. And when works are afoot, an electronic display board is erected by the Texaco garage, so that we know about any closures, to mitigate bank rage and avoid a run on the bank.

I feel confident that every penny of the £3.22 million dedicated to this 500 metre stretch of road is being well spent.  The Dan Bank Stabilisation project surely deserves an Award for Exemplary Effusiveness in Engineering. I will pass the idea on to someone who is planning a campaign called “ENGLAND NEEDS MORE NOTICES”.

Really, I had only myself to blame the other day when I found that the A627 past Dan Bank was closed due to road works.

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