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Brighton and Hove fitness trainers face park licence
Fitness trainers may soon have to pay for a licence to run classes in parks and green spaces.
With boot camps becoming a regular scene in public areas across the city, Brighton and Hove City Council wants those running keep fit sessions to pay a small levy.
Officials claim it will ensure the parks, such as Hove Lawns and Preston Park, are maintained while members of the public receive assurances trainers are fully qualified.
With the council yet to reveal how much the individual fee will be, established trainers cautiously welcomed the planned voluntary scheme.
Rob Jones, of StrideFit, said he felt there was a “good ethic” behind the idea.
He added: “The key thing will be how much the sum will be. It would have to be something that’s not damaging to my business.
“It’s a fairly flexible business and if it is a large one-off sum then it could cause me to sink rather than swim in this current climate.”
Steve Liszka, of Brighton Spartan Fitness, said he had some reservations about how the scheme would be enforced, particularly if he was paying the sum and others were not.
He added: “If I pay then I would like to see them improve the area on Hove Lawns that we use.”
The local authority said there are about 20 personal fitness companies and individuals running sessions in its parks.
To join the new scheme, fitness trainers would need to be registered with either UK active or on the Register of Exercise Professionals.
The money raised – estimated to be £5,000 to £8,000 a year – will then go towards maintaining the green spaces used. In return, those signed up to the scheme would be advertised on the council’s website.
A decision on the idea is set to be taken by the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee tomorrow.
Other councils, such as Guildford and those in London, operate a similar scheme.
Councillor Pete West, chair- man of the committee, said: “Personal trainers are commercial operators charging customers for their services but until now have made no contribution to the upkeep of the green spaces they use.
"Other users, such as football and cricket clubs have to book and pay for use of the facilities.
“Our proposed scheme seeks to redress this balance, while promoting reputable businesses in the city and giving potential customers a choice of companies and trainers who are properly qualified and insured.”
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