I IMAGINE most people will have heard via TV, radio and your reporting that Poole High Street has been named the 'UK's most declining' high Street in the country by Asktraders.

It appears that one of the main criteria used to arrive at this conclusion is the number of cash points either removed/provided.

My wife and I regularly support many of the shops on Poole High Street and I am happy to report that there is (at least one) cash point at each of the seven banks and building societies spread along the length of the high street from Falkland Square in the north towards Old Orchard in the south.

I can also report that at my last count (yesterday) there are only three or four vacant units, with two under offer. I can also report that in the last couple of years five national chains have opened shops in the high street together with a handful of independent operators, so things really cannot be as bad as is being reported.

I feel that the local authority could help things along with improvements to the pedestrian realm but my biggest criticism lies with the owners of the Dolphin Centre who have created this rundown feeling at the top of town by failing to commence their promised cinema development and not leasing the empty shops on Kingland Crescent, whilst at the same time spending millions of pounds on the transformational upgrade to the malls in the centre itself.

All this bad publicity is the last thing that our beleaguered retailers need during this vital trading period but surely a welcome Christmas present for them and the residents and visitors to Poole would be confirmation that the promised redevelopment and revamp of Falkland Sqare/Kingland Crescent will start very soon.

PATRICK McDONALD, Newfoundland Drive, Poole