FREE swimming sessions are a bribe, according to a leading councillor.

The Government plans to give councils cash to allow people over-60 or under-16 to swim for free.

But Kirklees Council leader Clr Robert Light said the proposal would end up costing the council money.

He said: “We all agree with encouraging people to live a more healthy lifestyle and get more exercise.

“But this Government investment will not cover the costs of lost income, and other associated costs.

“It is estimated that the costs to Kirklees will be £150,000 in the first year, and £800,000 over a three-year period, and there is no guarantee of any funding beyond that.”

The Conservative added: “This is Government political dishonesty at its worst – pretending it is providing cash to councils to provide a ‘free’ service when this is simply not the case.

“It’s a bribe that puts all councils in a no-win position.

“If councils turn down the money they are seen as being mean and tight-fisted.

“If councils accept the money it will not cover the costs involved.”