FAMILIES in Rochford are asking for the district to follow Basildon Council’s lead and get their streetlights back on at night.

A petition has been set up, signed by more than 150 people, to stop streetlights being switched off between 1am and 5am across Rochford.

The petition states: “This is the first step in reducing crime.”

Richard Lambourne, who set up the petition on October 30, stated: “Residents would like Rochford Council to ask Essex County Council to come to an agreement to have our streetlights turned back on at night time.

“With a lack of community safety initiatives being undertaken by the council we feel this would be the first step in helping reduce crime and providing reassurance and safety for those who have to work and travel around our district during the night time.

“RDC should insist that ECC continues its program of replacing older lights with LED to reduce the carbon footprint of street lighting. We have noted that Harlow and now Basildon have already reached such agreements with ECC, so we ask that if successful this be debated at the February 18 meeting and before the 2020/21 budget is finalised so that funds can be made available.”

Concerns have been raised about rising crime in Rayleigh High Street and it is hoped keeping lights on could reassure people and make them feel safer.

Mr Lambourne added: “They turned them off in 2013.

“People will feel a lot safer if they’re turned on.

“The amount of police has been reduced so the lights are definitely needed.”

Rochford Council was contacted to find out if this was something which will be considered.