FORMER Bournemouth council leader Peter Charon has resigned his seat.

The Tory councillor for Redhill and Northbourne said he was standing down yesterday for business reasons and family commitments.

A byelection for a replacement has been called for Thursday, May 31.

In a statement announcing his decision, Cllr Charon said: "It has been a privilege to look after the residents of Redhill and Northbourne and to be able to get things done on their behalf.”

His resignation comes after five years on the council and three months since he was deposed as council leader by his own Conservative group.

Cllr Charon is leaving to “pursue new challenges”, Bournemouth West Conservative Association said. A statement said: “He now wishes to pursue new challenges outside the council.

“He has served residents effectively over the last five years and has always spoken up strongly for the people that he has been fortunate enough to represent during this time.”

Cllr Charon had not attended council meetings since he resigned as leader in January.

He recently refused to take part in training ordered by the standards committee following bullying complaints from Cllr Mark Anderson.

Council leader Cllr John Beesley told the Daily Echo: “Peter has served the council very effectively over the last five years and spoken up for residents.

“Now he feels that with so many other commitments it will be fairer if they had somebody who was able to give more time.”

Prospective candidates must hand deliver a completed nomination form to the returning officer at the Town Hall by 12pm on Thursday, May 3.

Bournemouth Borough Council chief executive, Tony Williams said: “Our priority now is to make sure everyone who is entitled to vote can do so and that the Redhill and Northbourne ward by-election and count are run smoothly.

Residents have until Wednesday, May 16, to register to vote.

Call 01202 451124, email or visit for information.