Next month's city council election count in Hull will take place in the Bonus Arena for the first time.

Traditionally, completed ballot papers are collected from polling stations from across the city after they close at 10pm on election day.

They are then taken to Hull City Council's Guildhall headquarters to be verifed and then counted before the results are declared.

The process typically involves around 200 council staff as well as candidates, their agents and supporters.

Apart from when there has been a clashing general election, council election counts in Hull have also always taken place overnight with the first results usually being announced shortly after midnight.

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Votes being counted at the Hull City Council elections in 2019

However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced a major re-think over the way this year's election on May 6 is organised after last year's scheduled poll was postponed because of the first national lockdown.

Now the council has confirmed it will use the Bonus Arena in the city centre for the election count instead of the Guildhall with strict Covid-secure safety measures in place.

In another break with tradition, counting will also take place on the day after the election in three different sessions on Friday, May 7.

The receipt of ballot boxes and the verification process will also take place at the Arena after 10pm on the night of the election.

There will be restrictions on the number of people allowed to be in the building at any one time to allow for social distancing.

In addition, lateral flow testing for Covid-19 will be carried out on people attending the count while the wearing of face coverings will be required.

Inside the Arena, a carefully-planned layout for the count is currently being drawn up with specially-installed screens in place to protect staff counting the votes.

The first wards to be counted from 9am on Friday, May 7, will be Avenue, Boothfery, Bricknell, Derringham, Newington & Gipsyville and St Andrew's & Docklands.

The second counting session gets underway at 1pm and includes Beverley & Newland, Kingswood, North Carr, Orchard Park, University and West Carr wards.

The final count starts at 5pm and takes in Holderness, Ings, Longhill & Bilton Grange, Marfleet, Southcoates and Sutton wards.

The council is also planning a live webcast of every result being announced as well as speeches made by the winning candidates.