CITY bosses have pledged to organise a “special event” to mark the 75th anniversary of the victory for Europe over Germany during the Second World War. 

Councillors in Southampton have put their political differences aside and said they will work with local armed forces veterans, residents and charities to organise an event which will mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).

It comes as earlier this year Southampton City Council (SCC) was highly criticised as up until the day before the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6 civic chiefs could neither confirm nor deny whether any commemorative event was going to be held in the city.

As reported, on June 5 the authority announced a  D-Day commemoration was set to be held at the Cenotaph in Southampton on June 6. But now all councillors have pledged to work together to mark VE Day on May 8 2020. At the full council meeting last week, they all supported a motion moved by Cllr Marley Guthrie.

In his motion Cllr Guthrie said: “Southampton played a unique role in the effort to defend the United Kingdom’s freedom. As such, this council commits itself to the organisation of a special event for the VE Day commemoration.

“This council recognises that many of Southampton’s residents are proud of their city’s struggle to defend their future and will ensure that information on the event is widely distributed and that members are kept updated on its planning in a timely manner.”

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for homes and culture, seconded the motion and said the plans are at a very early stage but the authority is working with the Royal British Legion and armed forces in Southampton.

She said that as part of the initiatives that will take place to mark the VE Day anniversary there will be a commemoration at the Cenotaph and the Guildhall would be lit up in red, white and blue. She added: “Southampton is a proud and diverse city and I am keen that in the future commemorative celebrations recognise the contribution that our soldiers made.”

Cllr Catherine McEwing added: “We need to remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for our freedom.”