THE government has upheld civic chief's decision to cancel a boat show in Southampton, it has been confirmed.

Cllr Christopher Hammond, leader of Southampton City Council, has confirmed that the govermment has upheld the council's decision to cancel Southampton International Boat Show.

Cllr Hammond made the announcement during the full council meeting which is currently being held online.

The news comes as the event was going to start on September 11 but it was cancelled on the evening of September 10.

The decision was made by Debbie Chase, director of public health at the city council, following an increase in coronavirus cases across the country.

As reported, British Marine, the organiser of the event, appealed to the Secretary of State for Public Health and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport .

During the meeting Cllr Hammond informed members that the government upheld the council's decision.

He said: "I am pleased to inform members that our decision has been upheld and the work done by Dr Chase and her team has been vindicated."

Cllr Hammond said to be pleased that the government upheld this decision "and agreed this event should not go ahead."

"I would like to express my apologies to the exhibitors, organisers and businesses that were impacted," he said and added: "When advice changes and the guidance is altered then must we."

Chief executive Sandy Hopkins said: "In the current pandemic it would have been wrong to ignore government guidance."

In a statement the council said: "The Secretary of State considered the evidence that was used by the council’s Director of Public Health to recommend the cancellation of the event, and found that the actions taken by Southampton City Council responded to a serious and imminent threat to public health."

Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council added: “Permission for the show was granted earlier in the year with a clear direction that it could be cancelled at any time due to Covid-19. Unfortunately the rise in cases in recent days meant that the Council had to make that difficult decision at very short notice. While I am very sorry to everyone who has been affected by this, I hope they will understand that we have to do everything we can to contain the spread of the virus and protect residents and businesses from an even more damaging local lockdown.”

The government has been approached for comment.