Some councils need more than just a rocket. Code: THE Bay City Strollers are not happy. The group of new mothers who exercise at a Clifton Hill park face an abrupt demise similar to the 1970s tartan-clad rockers who inspired their name, as Yarra council moves to restrict personal training in most parks and impose hefty fees. The group of up to 12 mothers meet five times a week at Quarries Park and train with their young children in strollers and prams. Fiona Lee said the hour-long classes got women back into shape after pregnancy, provided a valuable social outlet and, in some cases, helped to overcome postnatal depression. "It's a great source of social interaction and keeps us fit and active, while still spending time with our kids," Ms Lee said. City of Yarra and several other municipalities are following the lead of five bayside councils, which recently moved to clamp down on boot camps that operate on beaches and foreshore parks. But Yarra has gone a step further and proposed a ban on commercial exercise groups of more than six people from 18 public parks in Fitzroy, Clifton Hill and Richmond. Fitness classes will also be prohibited from exercising within 10 metres of playgrounds or 15 metres of picnic sheds and park benches. The Bay City Strollers pay $12.50 each a session to a personal trainer. But under the proposed changes, the trainer will be required to pay up to $1000 for a six-month permit to run one class a week. Ms Lee said: "We don't have a problem with the permits, it's just the cost and what seems to be blatant revenue-raising by the council." Yarra councillor Steve Jolly labelled the proposal a "greedy grab for cash", which he will oppose at a council vote next month. "These types of activities should be encouraged rather than taxed, it's pure opportunism." Personal trainer Andrew Talati, who runs classes in North Fitzroy's Edinburgh Gardens, said the $1000 permits would destroy his business, Fitstyler. "There seems to be a huge inconsistency between local, state and federal governments in how to tackle the obesity epidemic," Mr Talati said. "Here we have a council actually complaining that its public parks have become too popular with people wanting to exercise." He said that most of his clients lived in the municipality and already paid rates that covered the upkeep of parks and gardens. Kathryn Field trains twice a week at Edinburgh Gardens and said the classes had a "negligible impact" on the park, which was far outweighed by the community health benefits. "It's fantastic that people are being encouraged to exercise. I work as a cancer specialist so I'm well aware of the adverse health effects of obesity and a lack of exercise," Dr Field said. Mayor Judy Morton defended the plan and said personal trainers profited from public spaces and had an obligation to contribute to their upkeep. "People who operate a business expect to pay rent in their business premises, so it is reasonable to pay a fee to conduct a business in a local park," Cr Morton said. Liberty Victoria president Julian Burnside, QC, recently slammed the bid to charge personal trainers. "It's ridiculous that councils think they can gouge some members of the public to use this land," Mr Burnside said.