IT comes as no surprise to me that Coney Street is losing yet another big-name retailer (The Press, September 5).

York city centre is clearly in the middle of a worrying decline.

Retail speak of ‘shaping portfolio’, ‘online presence’ and ‘customer-centricity’ will be of little comfort to those who require their regular fix of retail therapy.

Without question, there is a multitude of reasons for this decline. High rents and rates, out of town shopping parks and online shopping have played their part.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the general shabby state of the area. It is regularly dirty and appears unkempt, the roads and pedestrian areas are in a shocking state of repair and worst of all, its ability to recover from the night time activities of revellers is petering out.

Why would anyone wish to start their day cleaning their shop-front of stale urine, vomit, discarded takeaway packaging, chewing gum, cigarette butts and the occasional rough sleeper and their debris.

Weekend night times now bear an uncanny resemblance to Hogarth’s Gin Lane and worse.

It must, surely, be time to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward this antisocial behaviour.

It may cost a little more to police, but the consequences of not arresting the decline will be far greater.

There could also come a time when even the purveyors of alcohol find the area to unpleasant to invest in.

What an irony that would be.

Robin Dickson, Haxby Road, York