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Poole

Poole
Administration
Full namePoole
Official namePoole
Settlement typeBorough and unitary authority
Motto"Ad Morem Villae De Poole" "According to the custom of the Town of Poole"
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Ceremonial countyDorset
Admin HQPoole (Civic Centre)
Founded1 April 1997
Government
TypeUnitary authority
Governing bodyPoole Borough Council
Council leaderCllr. Elaine Atkinson
MayorCllr. Chris Bulteel (C)
MPs:Robert Syms (C)
Annette Brooke (LD)
Geography
Total Area25 sq mi (64.88 km2)
Demography
Total Population  (Ranked  ) ( )
Other information
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
Postcode areasBH
Area code01202
ISO 3166-2GB-POL
ONS code00HP
OS grid reference 
NUTS 3UKD32

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Poole ( ) is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is 32 km (19.9 mi) east of Dorchester, and Bournemouth adjoins Poole to the east. The Borough of Poole was made a unitary authority in 1997, gaining administrative independence from Dorset County Council. The town had a population of 138,288 according to the 2001 census, making it the second largest settlement in Dorset. Together with Bournemouth and Christchurch, the town forms the South East Dorset conurbation with a total population of over 400,000.

Human settlement in the area dates back to before the Iron Age. The earliest recorded use of the town’s name was in the 12th century when the town began to emerge as an important port, prospering with the introduction of the wool trade. In later centuries the town had important trade links with North America and at its peak in the 18th century it was one of the busiest ports in Britain. During the Second World War the town was one of the main departing points for the D-Day landings of the Normandy Invasion.

Poole is a tourist resort, attracting visitors with its large natural harbour, history, the Lighthouse arts centre and Blue Flag beaches. The town has a busy commercial port with cross-Channel freight and passenger ferry services. The headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are located in Poole, and the Royal Marines have a base in the town's harbour. Despite their names, Poole is the home of The Arts University College at Bournemouth, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a significant part of Bournemouth University.


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