Barnet climbs down on park PE charge

Barnet council has temporarily revoked plans to charge a modern Orthodox primary school £21.50 per class per week for use of a nearby park.

The council had intended to levy the fee on the Rimon school in Dunstan Road, Golders Green, for use of the Childs Hill Park for physical education classes. Local councillor Susette Palmer condemned the charge as “outrageous” and a communal outcry has prompted a change of heart. Now Rimon will be charged a nominal £1 until it reaches full capacity in 2018.

“We are keen for Rimon to use the park for PE classes,” said Councillor Dean Cohen, cabinet member for environment. “As the school is new, we have agreed a nominal fee of £1.”

But governors’ chair David Vaughan said: “We don’t know whether it is £1 per class, week or year. We’re not sure if it’s a peppercorn rent charge, so the council could enforce their right to charge us for PE classes in the park in the future.”

Last updated: 10:45am, August 26 2013