News story taken from Heart.

A petition has been started to save the Southend Air Show after the council announced it was scrapping the annual event.

The move will save £130,000 a year as the authority is forced to save further money in the face of less funding from central government.

But there has been strong criticism of the plans to cut the event which brings hundreds of thousands of people to the town over the weekend in May.

Simon John Ewing and Thomas Curtis both had the idea of starting a petition against the decision and are now joining forces to keep Southend Air Show going.

Simon told Heart: “There’s a lot of anger and confusion because it is such a popular event. Hopefully Southend councillors will change their mind because this is part of the town’s heritage.

“But with corporate sponsors it could still go ahead. Lots of local businesses such as hotels benefit from the influx of visitors so perhaps they should also contribute.”

Thomas told Heart: “The Air Show brings a lot of joy to the town and it brings a lot of people to the town. It is a flagship event for Southend and if you take that away fewer people will come here.

“Once the air show is gone it is going to be unlikely to come back. Other air shows will take flights and it will be much more expensive to run it again in the future.

“We can’t just raise it from the dead.”

Southend Council Leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “We are now into the third year of the austerity measures and these financial decisions are becoming harder and harder to make.

“Some of the savings we are proposing won’t be popular with residents but I would ask them to bear in mind that this crisis was not of our making.”

You can find out more about the campaign to save Southend Air Show here and the petition here