The rise and fall of Tony Ramsden: from the council chamber to the prison cell

The rise and fall of Tony Ramsden: from the council chamber to the prison cell

The rise and fall of Tony Ramsden: from the council chamber to the prison cell

by Melanie Vass Updated on in News

HE was Bournemouth’s youngest councillor and a rising star, albeit briefly.

He arrived at town hall meetings in a sports car emblazoned with the personalised number plate ‘7ORY.’

Tony Ramsden, also later became known as Anthony Ramsden-Geary, was quick to make his mark during four brief years as a councillor (which included chairing the licensing committee) before he was made bankrupt and forced to step down.

But his disqualification did not end his association with Bournemouth council, which has continued for the past decade.

He reinvented himself as a planning agent and was a frequent figure at planning meetings, representing an assortment of developers.

And he and his now estranged wife Harriet also continued to enjoy a friendship with former chair of planning and now council leader John Beesley.

The fall from grace of Ramsden will doubtless be an embarrassment to Mr Beesley.

Ramsden was made bankrupt in 2003 after shouldering responsibility for a £48,000 court action relating to a Spar shop he ran in Poole.

This shop was owned by Williamson and Treadgold - a company in which both Ramsden and Cllr Beesley were directors between 2001 and 2003.

Cllr Beesley was also company secretary and both men owned 50 £1 shares in the company.

In 2010, Liberal Democrat councillor Roger West claimed Cllr Beesley failed to correctly declare his interests when considering planning applications handled by Ramsden and a standards board investigation was held.

A tribunal concluded there had been no breach of the code of conduct and said that Cllr Beesley had followed the advice of officers.

He was completely exonerated.

Controversy continued to dog Ramsden and it was reignited this year by an application to build a £150million hotel, apartment and leisure complex on the Winter Gardens site.

The application, represented by Ramsden’s Planning Solutions, was eventually thrown out, with Ramsden accused of trying to mislead civic planners over extent of support for the scheme.

In June, it was revealed Ramsden had been made bankrupt a third time, along with his wife.

He was first declared bankrupt in 1993 and a second time in 2003, which resulted in his disqualification as a councillor.

The latest order made against him relates to unpaid rent on a house in Western Avenue, Branksome Park, which is believed to total around £13,000.

This is also not the first time he has been in court.

In February 2011, Planning Solutions CTP Ltd was fined £3,600 for breaking advertising rules.

Ramsden admitted 12 offences at Bournemouth Magistrates Court, which was told that Planning Solutions’ advertising boards were displayed illegally at a number of sites across the town between May and July 2010.

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Comments

7:23pm Thu 26 Sep 13 hrryseccombe says…

I think the general public should call for a public enquiry, and so should the elected representatives of the Bournemouth people.

  • Score: 11

9:36pm Thu 26 Sep 13 politicaltrainspotter says…

Agree with the above comments.there seems to be a very bad smell from a certain place.

  • Score: 8

10:44pm Thu 26 Sep 13 muscliffman says…

hrryseccombe wrote…

I think the general public should call for a public enquiry, and so should the elected representatives of the Bournemouth people.

Nothing less than an independent public inquiry will do in the circumstances that surround this matter. People in charge of public money were far too close to this convicted criminal for their own or more importantly OUR comfort and that goes beyond the Town Hall.

  • Score: 13

11:23pm Thu 26 Sep 13 Bob49 says…

Curiously (or not) there is no sign of the usual council apologists who blame all the incompetence and maladministration of this town's council upon those on here who have the cheek to question the council they pay for. They will say in reply that this is not a council matter. That any connections between the leader of the council and Mr Ramsden are pure coincidence - any any suggestions to the contrary are pure spite. The silence from them is deafening. As will be the silence in Mr Ramsden's cell tonight as he wonders why he didn't surreptiously hide away some of those ill gotten gains - which we have to presume he didn't do. A friend of the council leader wouldn't do a thing like that ,,, would he ?

  • Score: 16

7:45am Fri 27 Sep 13 UrbanCrab says…

muscliffman wrote…

hrryseccombe wrote…

I think the general public should call for a public enquiry, and so should the elected representatives of the Bournemouth people.
Nothing less than an independent public inquiry will do in the circumstances that surround this matter. People in charge of public money were far too close to this convicted criminal for their own or more importantly OUR comfort and that goes beyond the Town Hall.

Absolutely, all the planning decisions involving this man need to be relooked at and the nature of his relatonship with key active councillors needs to be examined. This is the small tip of a very large and dangerous iceberg.

  • Score: 6

9:48am Fri 27 Sep 13 Redgolfer says…

Bob49 wrote…

Curiously (or not) there is no sign of the usual council apologists who blame all the incompetence and maladministration of this town's council upon those on here who have the cheek to question the council they pay for. They will say in reply that this is not a council matter. That any connections between the leader of the council and Mr Ramsden are pure coincidence - any any suggestions to the contrary are pure spite. The silence from them is deafening. As will be the silence in Mr Ramsden's cell tonight as he wonders why he didn't surreptiously hide away some of those ill gotten gains - which we have to presume he didn't do. A friend of the council leader wouldn't do a thing like that ,,, would he ?

Agree with these comments BUT NOT so sure about the bit about leader of the council and the connection to Mr Ramsden being pure coincidence after all as the article implies they were partner's in a company together and I believe that one is godfather to another's child.

  • Score: 5

8:15am Sat 28 Sep 13 Paul 1 says…

Enquiry please !

  • Score: 1

8:18am Sat 28 Sep 13 Phixer says…

hrryseccombe wrote…

I think the general public should call for a public enquiry, and so should the elected representatives of the Bournemouth people.

The leader of the 'elected representatives' is none other than Mr Greasy.

  • Score: 1
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