A LOCAL parish council has abandoned its attempt to impose charges on a fitness group leader for use of its recreation ground.

In May, Bere Ferrers Parish Council sought to charge JR Fitness Camp for use of the Bere Alston recreation field, on which the leader, Jasmine Russell, has been running circuit classes on a not-for-profit basis from May to September, without charge since April 2022. At the council meeting that month, Jasmine expressed concern that to face costs for use would result in her no longer being able to continue running classes.

Several members of the circuits class also attended the meeting and asked councillors why they sought to impose charges when classes on the field were not run on a commercial basis. They also questioned why the council was not approaching dog walkers and child minders running a business who use the field several times daily.

Last week, clerk for the parish council Caroline Metcalf confirmed they had come to an agreement with Jasmine.

Caroline said: ‘The council was never going to charge the full amount to use the recreational field. The council’s discussions on charges were concerning all businesses, commercial, not-for-profit and charitable using the field and car parks. Unfortunately, there was just too much speculation and misinformation about this going around on social media. The decision on whether to charge, what to charge etc, was never finalised until this week’s meeting.

‘I did let Jasmine know last week that there would be no charge, as the council promised they would let her know as soon possible. It was asked by member of the public if the council would be charging dog walkers and child minders ­— it was not something we considered.’