DUDLEY Council officers face a mammoth task to complete the biggest election count in decades which will run into the Bank Holiday weekend.

All of the authority’s 72 seats are up for grabs this time round following a ward boundary review plus elections for the West Midlands mayor and West Midlands police and crime commissioner.

Polling stations stayed open until 10pm on May 2 for people to cast up to three votes for councillors in their ward plus the mayor and PCC.

When polling stations closed, ballot boxes were taken to the count to Stourbridge's Crystal Leisure Centre ahead of the official count today (Friday).

The first phase of the counting process began as ballot boxes arrived on May 2 when all ballot papers, including postal votes, were due to be verified to ensure every ballot paper issued arrived safely at the count.

Usually Dudley elects a third of its councillors at one time and counts votes overnight but due to the size of the 2024 election, counting will take place throughout the day today (Friday May 3).

Results will be declared throughout the day for each of the council’s 24 wards and counting will continue into the afternoon with final results expected at around 5pm.

There may be delays to declarations if results are close and recounts are required, meaning the final make-up of the council may not be known until well into the evening.

Votes for the mayoral and crime commissioner elections in the Dudley area will be counted on Saturday May 4 from 9am.

Counting for these region-wide elections will also be taking place in Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Once results for each area have been declared locally they will be sent to the overall returning officer for each election and a final result will be announced.