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Bournemouth Echo

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

Reported by Melanie Vass

Published / News
Updated
8 comments

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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