PRESSURE is mounting for Essex's highways boss to stand down over "arrogant" remarks he made about a streetlights petition.

Mother-of-two Traci Beamish launched a campaign calling for the lights to be turned back on overnight after her home in Ghyllgrove, Basildon, was burgled last week.

Despite more than 2,700 people signing the petition, Mr Bass branded the bid "nonsense".

His remarks have triggered fury among fellow politicians.

Phil Turner, leader of Basildon Council, said: “What we would like to see is Mr Bass turn the lights back on and serve the residents he represents.

“If he can’t do that then there should be a reshuffle of the cabinet, with someone taking his place who is sensible.

“If he can’t serve the people then he shouldn’t be a councillor and should stand down, this is typical arrogance.

“To brand the petition as nonsense lacks respect and it seems he is going out of his way to alienate people.”

Miss Beamish, who has two disabled children, told the Echo how raiders ransacked her garage, which contained medical equipment for her son.

She said the insensitive remarks made by Mr Bass rocked her faith in Essex County Council.

She added: “Our police has been cut so we have to police ourselves, but how can we do that if we can’t see at night?

“I know of many cases where people’s houses have been burgled and the police can’t help because the CCTV is too dark.

“He should make an apology to the people who care about this, and he should stand down.

“It is people’s human right to feel safe and it is our right to be listened to without being told we are talking nonsense.”

Jon Anderson, Canvey Independent Party councillor for the island's Central ward, said he was surprised over the comments.

He said: “Councillor Bass is a very smart man but his people skills are lacking here.

“Mr Bass should address the question as to why he felt making those remarks was okay.”

Rochford Council leader Terry Cutmore believes crime is not related to poor lighting, and called on residents to be vigilant.

He said: "The way Mr Bass handled the petition is his matter, he clearly has a distinct opinion on the matter.

"Crime is mostly from gangs in London. I don't think street lighting prevents crime, thieves are more likely to operate in the day when they can see."

Mr Cutmore added that resident in fear of being burgled should invest in improved security.

Mr Bass did not respond to requests for a comment.