THE leader of Herefordshire Council has accused this paper of not supporting a company set-up by the council to save it money.

A cabinet discussion yesterday about joint venture firm Hoople, which itself needs to find savings of more than £1 million, turned into an attack on the Hereford Times for being too negative in its coverage of the company.

The council's own communications department was also told by one backbench councillor, who is also a Hoople board member, that its press releases could be more positive.

"If the Hereford Times sees the value of Hoople it would be great," said Cllr Carl Attwood, the Independent member for Hope End.

He said there were currently "too many question marks" in this paper's coverage which yesterday ran a story saying Hoople could split in two.

Council leader Tony Johnson agreed saying; "A positive from the Hereford Times. That would be a first."

The future for Hoople is seen as two entities - one delivering specific services directly to the council and the other delivering a range of commercial services to the market.

Cabinet members agreed to back the council drawing up a business case and 'implementation plan' with Hoople and its board that allows the split.

The council's deputy leader Cllr Philip Price said Hoople has saved the council significant sums of money since it was established in 2011.