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Government upholds decision by council to issue direction cancelling international boat show

The Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Nadine Dorries MP, has upheld Southampton City Council’s decision to issue a direction which cancelled the Southampton International Boat Show (Boats 2020).

Following submissions by British Marine, (the organisers of the event) and the council, 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.

The minister found that the actions taken by the council responded to a serious and imminent threat to public health.

Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council, said: “I am pleased that following a review of the evidence presented, the Minister of State has agreed with the decision to stop the show taking place. 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.

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“Unfortunately the rise in cases nationally 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.”

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