Save the CEVIC campaigners secured a meeting with council officials over their objections to plans to convert a community hub into a nursery – but the meeting has already been cancelled due to coronavirus.

The council invited members of the group to attend a meeting on Monday, October 19 to make representations to council officers over the issue. But it was cancelled on Monday afternoon (October 12) with plans for a virtual meeting to replace it.

Whilst the campaigners say they are “fully committed to attending the meeting”, they insist on the planning application to convert the CEVIC Centre in Catrine into an Early Childhood Centre being withdrawn first.

Campaigners say the CEVIC should continue to function as a community hub and that the current Early Childhood Centre in Catrine is fit for its current purpose.

Iain Tough, Strategy and Performance Manager at East Ayrshire Council said in an email to the group that no advance work contracts will be placed and the application will not be decided “before November 2020 and there seems no reason to withdraw it in advance of our agreeing proposals for the CEVIC.”

A spokesperson from the Save the CEVIC group said the main aim of their campaign is to stop the application immediately until discussions are complete and they “do not understand why this planning application cannot be stopped indefinitely by withdrawing it immediately from your planning process now.”

There is hope that something positive can come from the meeting with the tone of the disagreement changing recently and both sides working constructively to come to an agreement.

Meanwhile, campaigners have been out on the streets and spreading the word of their fight online. Last week they asked members of the public to send selfies of themselves posing with a sign highlighting the campaign.

Also this week the council said they were wrong to drop a 20 day response rate to complaints due to coronavirus, after responding six months later to a complaint about the CEVIC. More on this story here.

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