I've said this before, but I think it bears repeating. Hoople is not an arms length company, it is a "Teckal" company - under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 the Council is supposed to exert the same control over the company as it does over its own internal departments. Its primary function is to provide services to its shareholders (i.e the Council and whatever has replaced the PCT) on a not for profit basis. Only 20% of its activities by turnover can be for third parties and potentially profit making.
Arms Length tends to be a term specific to housing management (as in the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy). For the ex-councillor to claim that Hoople is arms length demonstrates woeful ignorance at best, and at worst deliberate disingenuousness.
I stand corrected on the terms (and it was me providing the information to the ex-councillor, not the other way round), but the point I was making is still valid ie other than having heard of it, the ex-councillor had no idea about how Hoople worked or its limited accountability. Your ref to dimwit councillors is on the nail.