A TORY councillor has slammed a "freebie" weekend set to be laid on by West Yorkshire Fire Authority.

The Fire Authority is planning a free weekend in an upmarket Leeds hotel, to hold briefings for the 22 councillors on the authority's board.

But Clr Robert Light, leader of Kirklees Council's Conservative group, said if the "ridiculous" plans were approved on Friday none of the seven Tory councillors on the authority would attend.

"We cannot justify spending thousands of pounds on putting councillors up in plush hotels when there are excellent conference facilities at the authority's headquarters in Birkenshaw," he said.

He said Tories would not attend "in protest at what we consider an insult to firefighters".

He added: "Firefighters have had to fight for a pay rise. Now, to add insult to injury, the authority chairman wants to put up all these councillors at huge expense.

"Of the 20 or so hours the members will be at the hotel only four will be spent in meetings and briefings.

"They should be doing this in an afternoon. There is no need for an overnight stay," said Clr Light.

"Hopefully, common sense will prevail and this proposal will be thrown out."

But authority chairman Clr Harry Fox (Lab, Spenborough) says it would be difficult to hold the meeting at the Birkenshaw HQ.

"We don't have the room. This is something that the authority has been doing for many years - it is not a new idea dreamt up recently.

"Because we have people travelling from all over West Yorkshire to attend it would be ridiculous to ask them to travel back and forward and that is why an overnight stay is proposed."