Dartford Council has released a statement after it was announced that the upcoming Steam In Dartford event was to be cancelled due to health and safety concerns.

Organisers of the popular steam engine rally were forced to cancel the event, which was scheduled for May 11, after they failed to submit crucial documents in time to respond to legal queries and address potential health and safety concerns.

MORE: QE Hospital calling for donations after children's ward 'ransacked'

The council has since confirmed that the event’s insurers have subsequently withdrawn cover, meaning organisers can no longer go ahead with the festivities.

Lead organiser for the cancelled event, Colin Wheeler, has since said that the group accepts full responsibility for the "hugely disappointing" situation.

"Running this event is a huge and complex task and sadly, we failed to submit some really important parts of the event plan in time to implement the advice from the police and safety authorities.

"It’s no one’s fault but our own and I want to make clear that this isn’t a case of over zealous health and safety demands from anyone.

"Keeping people safe at an event like this is paramount and we get huge support from everyone we work with. It’s hugely disappointing but the decision to cancel the event was ours," he said.

Adding to this, council leader Jeremy Kite has commended the team behind the annual steam rally for the "hundreds of hours" put in to the free weekend.

"I have worked with Colin Wheeler for more than a decade and remember when he first walked in to my office with his proposals for a small event to celebrate Dartford’s place in engineering and industrial history.

"We supported him back then and have been rewarded by seeing the event grow into one of the town’s most popular weekends.

"He spoke to me this morning and accepted with no deflection or excuses that the responsibility for the oversight and the cancellation lays with the organisers, and it is so very typical of him to do so.

"However, I want to say this. Over the years, Colin and his team have committed literally hundreds of hours of their own time and poured their heart and soul into this weekend.

"The Steam Rally has brought countless joy to tens of thousands of visitors, me included. He and his team will be devastated at this turn of events," said Cllr Kite.

MORE: Residents lodge objections against St Clements Way 'eyesore' signs

However, newly elected Labour councillor for Stone House, Kelly Grehan, believes that more could have been done to save the event in the weeks proceeding to avoid cancellation.

"Cabinet members should have known should have been on top of this to avoid the event being cancelled with 2 days notice.

"Why do they appear to have they dropped the ball on this?

"There are questions for the Cabinet to answer - they shouldn’t be outsourcing blame to the organisers," she said.