Two boat shows have been cancelled this weekend due to directives handed out by Southampton City Council at the eleventh hour.
Both the Southampton International Boat Show which was this year branded as BOATS2020, and the Ocean Village Boat Show 2020 were due to open today but were told by the Labour led council that the decision was taken following a concerning rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and after detailed analysis of the public health risks.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said:
We are desperately disappointed that BOATS2020 will no longer be taking place, especially receiving the news at the eleventh hour before opening.
A tremendous amount of work has been put in and it was heartening to see committed exhibitors on-site today getting geared up for opening.
The Ocean Village Boat Show which was organised by MDL Marinas was due to exhibit 80 models of boats across 30 different power and sail brands.
They were convinced that they had made their event safe with staggering the number of visitors and completing test and trace details in advance to avoid queues.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen, Royston Smith said:
The Boat Show decided to hold its hugely scaled back event to show loyalty to its host city.
What loyalty has the Labour Southampton City Council shown them?
Local opinions ranged from:
To be honest this is what we need – stops the toffs from thinking they’re above everyone else in this pandemic.
What an absolute disgrace to cancel the events at past the eleventh hour letting everyone down after the organisers had made so much effort to keep everyone safe.
It’s high time that the Southampton City Council got its act together.