Election 2016

Council elections: Labour loses control of Dudley

Dudley election count
Image caption Election results in Dudley were so close they were counted five times

Labour has lost control of Dudley council, which now joins Walsall in having no overall majority.

In the Wollaston and Stourbridge Town ward, the party lost to the Conservatives by three votes.

But Labour retained control of councils in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

An administrative error led to two Tory candidates being named on the ballot paper in Wolverhampton, splitting the Conservative vote.

Sandwell remained a Labour stronghold, where all contested seats went to the party. The council is now made up of 71 Labour councillors and one UKIP member.

Labour also increased its majority on Birmingham City Council, while in Solihull the Conservatives retained control.

Local council election results in the West Midlands

Pete Lowe, Dudley Labour group leader, said: "On the whole we are disappointed that we lost the crucial last seat, and just by three votes.

Conservative Patrick Harley aid: "To take four gains, three from Labour, I would say is exceptional."

In Walsall, Labour had a net gain of one seat, leaving them with 28 on the 60-seat council, and the Liberal Democrats held their two wards in Short Heath and Willenhall North.

The Conservatives remained on their original total of 25 seats, having had support from three UKIP and two independent councillors to run an administration since last June.

Walsall's Labour group leader, Sean Coughlan, said he would be meeting with the Liberal Democrats.

"There is a positive chance that we'll be running this council with their support," he added.

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