TRIBUTES have been paid to the deputy leader of Dudley Council, who has died today after a short illness.

Councillor David Vickers died this morning, aged 73.

Flags at the council house and town hall in Dudley are all flying at half-mast today as a mark of respect for the Halesowen South Conservative councillor who served the borough for 16 years.

The retired police officer had been deputy leader of the authority since 2017, having previously held cabinet positions for education and lifelong learning and health and wellbeing.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "The news of David’s passing is extremely upsetting and something we are all still coming to terms with.

"David was one of the kindest and warmest people you could ever wish to meet and he will be missed by everyone.

"Our thoughts are with his partner Andrea and his daughter Giverny at this extremely difficult time."

Councillor Anne Millward, Dudley's Mayor, said: "David was a tremendous servant to the council and to the borough and will be deeply missed by all.

"He is certainly one of those people and politicians hugely respected by both sides of the council chamber and our thoughts are with his family at this time.