A LONGSTANDING senior Herefordshire Council director will leave the authority in September.

Geoff Hughes, director for economy, communities and corporate, will step down after more than 20 years at the authority.

Council chairman Brian Wilcox led the tributes to Mr Hughes at full council last week.

He said: “Geoff Hughes will be leaving us in September following a distinguished career in local government.

“I first met him back in the 1990s when he was head of economic development with Hereford City Council and both he and his father served in offices almost adjoining each other.

“He has gone from strength to strength and this council will be very much sorry for his departure.

“But as this is the last full council before that departure, I trust I can have your unanimous support in noting for the minutes what we owe such a superb director of this county council.”

County councillors applauded councillor Wilcox’s remarks and Chief executive Alistair Neill echoed the tributes to Mr Hughes. He said: “He has been a wonderful colleague.”