THIS year’s cancellation of Bournemouth Air Festival should be made permanent, a Green Party councillor has said.

Councillor Simon Bull said the decision of BCP Council was the correct one in light of the coronavirus pandemic but said climate change necessitated it being replaced long term.

Dates have been confirmed for the 2021 event but he questioned whether it could be justified with the council having pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.

“The decision to cancel the air show this year was the right one, to protect the residents of Bournemouth and surrounding areas, as well as to do our bit to stop the virus from spreading,” Cllr Bull, who represents Winton East, said. “We are in a crisis, so it’s right we act on it.

“Once the pandemic is over, we will remain in the grip of another global crisis that requires us to make similar bold, better and sustainable green choices.

“We must treat every crisis as a crisis and act proportionally to the risks and urgency that the situation requires.

“An air show does not fit inside the council’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency or our commitments under the Paris climate agreement going forward.”

Bournemouth Echo:

The cancellation of this year’s air festival was confirmed when the council announced it would hold no outdoor events until at least the end of August.

Its leader, councillor Vikki Slade, admitted this would negatively affect the hospitality industry but said the council was looking at “every feasible option” to provide the sector more support, including a commitment to a “refreshed air festival” next year.

This is due to take place over the first weekend in September 2021 and has been welcomed by the Conservative shadow cabinet member for tourism, councillor Philip Broadhead.

Bournemouth Echo:

He said the air festival was a "hallmark" of Bournemouth that had "put the town on the map" and needed to be continued.

"It’s one of our signature events and brings joy to millions of people, both local and visitors," he said. "Once this crisis is over, it is precisely the thing we will need to help reopen our economy and lift spirits.

"It is perfectly possible for such events to go ahead whilst being mindful of the environmental impact, as evidenced by making last year’s festival carbon neutral with the accompanying tree planting campaign.

"The idea that we could come up with a replacement that would be anything near as popular and well loved is preposterous."