CITY bosses have been asked to consider the possibility of smaller events to mark Christmas and Remembrance Day.

Opposition leader Cllr Dan Fitzhenry is calling on Southampton City Council to organise smaller events over the next months.

It comes as earlier this week the authority cancelled events on its land until the end of the year.

These include the Remembrance service at the Cenotaph and the Christmas Markets on Above Bar Street.

The council said it is working on plans to organise "alternative and safe" events to mark Remembrance Day and Christmas. But Cllr Fitzhenry said: "Whilst I understand the need for public safety I would ask the council to at least provide some smaller and more tightly managed events to ensure some form of Remembrance service can go ahead.

"I would also ask if a smaller Christmas Market perhaps without alcohol could be allowed. We need to find ways to live with Covid-19 and ensure cancellation of events doesn’t become the default approach.”

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for culture and homes, said: "We will of course still be marking important annual events, such as our Remembrance Service; this will now be a virtual event with only a few key individuals physically there, to ensure safety.

"The decision about large events will be reviewed regularly, based on evidence and Government guidance. While these events are an important part of our city calendar, Rising rates of infection would lead to a local lockdown which would be far more detrimental to our local economy.

"None of us, including Cllr Fitzhenry, should assume to know more than our health experts as his recent poor judgement about the Boat Show demonstrated when he was at odds with his own Government.”