Author Topic: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park  (Read 19083 times)

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Offline Francoise De Lampe

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The Wiltshire and Gloucester Standard recently reported the death of Nick Hanson, the former finance director of the Cotswold Water Park Society:
 

Quote from: Gemma Casey
"THE former finance director of the Cotswold Water Park Society has died of a heart attack.

Nick Hanson, 48, who was on police bail at the time of his death, was collapsed at his Coventry home on September 6.

Mr Hanson, along with CWPS chief executive Dennis Grant, 62, was arrested in April on suspicion of theft, conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and false accounting.

He was dismissed as finance director of the CWPS last month after an appeal.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police confirmed the death but said they could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.


Perhaps related to this story are the quiet whispers running through the, (still growing), Lamplighters network that officers from Gloucesters Economic Crime team were last week seen loading documents and boxes into as many as 6 vans at the offices of Cotswold District Council.

We are interested in learning more, especially about possible links between Dennis Grant, Swindon Borough Council & another well known businessman.

Hat tips to several new Lamplighters, in particular 'Old Spot' and 'Highwayman'


Our lamping senses are telling us there's something very interesting to be unravelled.

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Offline Francoise De Lampe

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2010, 03:27:37 PM »


So far it appears that Mr Grant has previously held directorships with:


The Cotswold Water Park Ltd

Swindon Strategic Partnership Ltd

New Swindon Company Ltd

Swindon Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd

Quest Corporation Ltd

The Skills Partnership Ltd

Swindon Citizen Advice Bureau Ltd

(Chairman), South West Chambers Ltd

Taurus Training Foundation Ltd


Hat Tip to Le Cantaloupe  :)

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 05:00:52 PM »
Mr Dennis Grant is/was also a director of:

MOOR ASSOCIATES LTD
Company No. 05708572

And along with several local businessmen (yes and Tricky)

Swindon FM
(Swindon Radio Ltd.)
SWINDON RADIO LIMITED
Company No. 04161591

He was also apparently involved with:

Swindon Citizen Advice Bureau Ltd  - Chairman,
Not listed at Companies House

South West Chambers Ltd,
Not listed at Companies House

Taurus Training Foundation Ltd,
Not listed at Companies House

Swindon Strategic Partnership Ltd
Not listed at Companies House
What's it all about?

Offline Muggins

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 06:26:59 PM »
I'm fairly sure that I have been at meetings with Cotswold Park rep because half or part of the park is in the Borough of Swindon.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 10:25:42 PM »
I know that our park at Riverside, Lechlade was taken away from the Council. Some thing to do with a removal of the lease, don't quote me, but i'm sure that's what i heard. Us gardeners assumed it was owned, I'll check this out when I see the appropriate person.

The guys at Highworth who used to litter pick and cut it, where stopped in April and we haven't been back since!

Gardening tips: Always remember its brown side down, green side up.  If its knocking now it'll only go bang later

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 12:21:31 AM »
Lamplighters have been so active tonight that I've been tied up for hours trying to correlate all the information.

Dennis Grant has been a busy, busy boy with fingers in many pies but one of the fruitiest press quotes currently on offer is:

Quote
In May2010, the former chief executive of the Swindon Chamber of Commerce was arrested over suspected money laundering linked to the UK's largest waterfront development.

Dennis Grant, chief executive of the Cotswold Water Park Society ("CW PS"), was detained along with finance director Nick Hanson. Both men face allegations of money
laundering, false accounting, conspiracy to defraud and theft.

In a statement, the CWPS revealed that the two officials have been suspended from duty on full pay until an internal inquiry has been completed. The society is an environmental charity which was set up to manage a number of nature reserves and around 140 lakes across 40 square miles of countryside.

Grant was head of the Swindon Chamber of Commerce when it collapsed in 2006 with debts of £220,000. He had blamed the demise ofthe organisation, which is not linked to the current case, on the establishment of a council-backed arms-length organisation known as the Swindon Initiativewhich was set up to encourage businesses to grow in Swindon.


Thank you everyone, it's going to be an interesting weekend on Talkswindon.  Keep an eye on the New 'Mechanics Institute' forum: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?board=226.0

it also seems Dennis Grant was, at one time, quite heavily involved in the Mechanics. As were several other well known public figures.

 

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 09:34:54 AM »
Quite correct Tea Boy. Your gardening skills are no longer needed at The Riverside Park.
It belongs to New College Oxford (it seems that the universities are big land / property owners)

Lechalde Town council used to lease Riverside and Swindon Borough Council used to look after it. Here is a copy of part of a letter I wrote some time ago:

At the west end of the Water Park there is considerable concern about The Cotswold Water Park Society Ltd. leasing, for more than 100 years,  Keynes Country Park to the property developer, Watermark Ltd. One of the reasons that the CEO of The Cotswold Water Park Society Ltd., Mr. Dennis Grant, gave for the leasing out of this land was that both the Keynes Country Park and Neigh Bridge Country Park “bleed money from the Society.”

As prospective future owners of The Riverside Park at Lechlade, The Cotswold Water Park Society Ltd. may see that, it too, would bleed money from their Society. They could find that a property developer might pay handsomely for the lease, or even the outright ownership of a property with frontage to the River Thames.


While Dennis was telling everyone about parks "bleeding" his Society, he was secretly (except I knew) negotiating to get hold of Riverside.  I wonder why?
What's it all about?

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 04:23:49 PM »
hmmmm, Riverside Park, once the council's premier dogging site, i suppose that accolade now falls to Coate Water car park.
Gardening tips: Always remember its brown side down, green side up.  If its knocking now it'll only go bang later

Offline Bobby Bingo

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 03:19:51 PM »
hmmmm, Riverside Park, once the council's premier dogging site,

Was not a former Mayor of Swindon caught there? and I do not mean Glaholm!
Bobby

Offline Richas

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2010, 08:37:52 PM »
There have been a couple of reports in Private Eye recently, they are following the money to a firm with council links that leases the site (incl the beach). They sell holiday homes plus running various restaurants etc.  don't keep my old Eye's but there was also a piece about the drowning at the beach and the lifeguard service.  Watermark Ltd is the firm.

There are murky waters out there somewhere.

I suspect the Eye will have an update in the next issue but this issue 17th Sept (Pope and Blair on cover) has an item on p13 Named politicos include David Fowles (snr tory) Lynden Stowe (Tory Leader) an Sue Jepson

Another firm of interest:

Cotswold Media Ltd which has 3 cabinet members linked to it and does work for the non profit CWPS which gave the lease to Watermark Ltd on a "partnership" basis. It is owned by the Cotswold District Council leader Lynden Stowe.

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 01:36:05 PM »
Bump.

According to The Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard, Mr Dennis Grant, one time CEO of Swindon Chamber of Commerce, member of several organisations associated with SBC and business associate of Mr John Richard Hunt and Mr Mathew Singh has today been charged with fraud.

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/8856821.Dennis_Grant_charged_with_fraud/

Quote
THE former chief executive of the Cotswold Water Park Society has been charged with six offences of fraud.
Dennis Grant, 63, has been charged with six offences of fraud by false representation and one offence of obtaining a money transfer by deception.
He was arrested last year alongside former finance director Nick Hanson, who later died of a heart attack.
The charges follow a complaint made by the Cotswold Water Park and has been investigated by Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit.
He has been bailed to appear at Stroud Magistrates Court on March 21.


Let's hope that the Wiltshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit now take a look at the WiFiasco.
What's it all about?

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2011, 07:54:11 PM »
According to The Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard, Mr Dennis Grant, one time CEO of Swindon Chamber of Commerce, member of several organisations associated with SBC and business associate of Mr John Richard Hunt and Mr Mathew Singh has today been for his first court appearance concerning fraud in the Cotswold Water Park.

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/8922485.Ex_Water_Park_Society_boss_in_court_over_fraud_charges/

Quote
    * By Gemma Casey »


THE former chief executive of the Cotswold Water Park Society has appeared in court accused of defrauding the charity out of more than £700,000.

Dennis Grant, 63, of Old Glebe, Upper Tadmarton, Banbury, appeared at Stroud Magistrates Court on Monday charged with six counts of fraud and one of obtaining a money transfer by deception.

He was accused of pocketing £707,291.25 meant for the benefit of CWPS.

Grant was bailed to appear back at Stroud Magistrates Court in May for a committal hearing.

The alleged offences happened between November 2006 and July 2009.

He is accused of making false representations to companies or their representatives and having money paid into his own accounts which should have gone to CWPS.

Between 20-30 June 2007 it is alleged he pocketed £100,000 by giving Withy King solicitors his own bank details instead of CWPS details. The money was part payment of a contract between Kilbridges and the CWPS. Between January 21 and 17 March 2007 he allegedly had £25,000 put into his own private account when the money from Mayo’s Famous For Food Ltd was meant for CWPS. It is also alleged that on 21 December 2007 he transferred £170,833.33 into his own account relating to a deal between Watermark Group Ltd and CWPS. A further £58,333.30 from Watermark was allegedly transferred into Grant’s personal account instead of CWPS account between 20 December 2007 and 11 March 2009.

On 22 July 2008 it is claimed he denied CWPS £299,124.62 by transferring the money, paid by the Co-Op, into his own personal account. Between 30 January 2007 and 31 July 2009 it is alleged he made £46,500 at the expense of CWPS by falsely claiming the company Leisure Promotions Ltd, which was receiving monthly payments of £1,500, was not connected to him.

The charge of obtaining a money transfer by deception relates to an alleged offence between 8-14 November 2006 where Grant falsely claimed he was entitled to a £7,500 rental payment from Mayo’s Famous For Food Ltd, an amount rightfully meant for CWPS.

Prosecutor Mary Harley said given the amount of money involved the case should be deferred to crown court.

Grant was initially arrested in May last year alongside former CWPS finance director Nick Hanson but Mr Hanson later died following a suspected heart attack.


Can anyone remember anything about Dennis Grant's business dealings in Swindon prior to 2007?

Slowly, slowly we catchee monkey.(ies?)
What's it all about?

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2011, 08:22:42 PM »
Hmmm, must have a rummage through the x-files :popcorn:

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2011, 09:47:23 PM »
Didnt he once own the 9 hole golf course, or the site prior to it becoming the golf site, at the bottom of Highworth, on the road to Lechlade?.

Offline Bogomil

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 09:50:09 PM »
Didnt he once own the 9 hole golf course, or the site prior to it becoming the golf site, at the bottom of Highworth, on the road to Lechlade?.

Yes I believe he did, which was I believe a diversification from his Fruit and Veg business.

I think this might be the same Dennis Grant that used to owned a large chain of Fruit and Veg shops in Swindon back in the 1970-80’s, called “Market Fruiterers”

I think that the company was set up in two parts, one being the shops selling, with a few market stalls to boot, the other being a wholesalers with a transport company as a supply chain to Hotels etc

I believe that both may have stopped trading but it might shed some light on past dealings if someone on TS has access to companies house data.

Market Fruiterers Of Swindon Limited company number 01720194
And
Market Fruiterers Of Swindon Transport Limited company number 00993699

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2011, 09:57:08 PM »
Yes, when there was the large 'market' in the bottom of town which was near to the old pub that got pulled down, he had a big pitch there most saturdays..

Offline Muggins

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2011, 09:11:26 AM »
Bogo "Yes I believe he did, which was I believe a diversification from his Fruit and Veg business"

Wasn't that Dougie Grant?   Not the same bloke.

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2011, 09:27:23 AM »
Interesting.  :popcorn:

Does anyone know of any other links between Dennis Grant and Rikki Hunt other than their failed Swindon FM attempt or can anyone give details of their joint involvement in the affairs of various SBC committees/projects? :fish:

I know what I can smell but I can't quite get the links beteen these two "sucessful businesmen" who seem to have a similar variation of the "Midas Touch".

What's it all about?

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2011, 09:57:54 AM »
Not sure about connections with "Ricki", but at the time of the ten storey greenhouse proposal for the Mechanics, Dennis was all for promoting it so that the Chamber of Commerce would have a new office.
Matthew Singh was already providing an office in Gorse Hill.
I think they were each others secretarys at various times.

Also used to be very pro-development at Coate?
Fingers in pies?
Proud to be gone

Offline GOM

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Re: Wiltshire Lamplighters: What do you know about the Cotswold Water Park
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2011, 10:17:55 AM »
Name & Registered Office:
MARKET FRUITERERS OF SWINDON LIMITED
28 ST JOHNS STREET
DEVIZES
WILTSHIRE
SN10 1BN
Company No. 01720194        
 
Status: Dissolved 01/09/1998
      

Name & Registered Office:
MARKET FRUITERERS OF SWINDON TRANSPORT LIMITED
1 MARSHGATE
SWINDON
SN1 2PA
Company No. 00993699
       
 
Status: Dissolved 18/08/2009