FAMILIES who have suffered dozens of power cuts each year say they have had enough after the lights went off seven times in ten days.

Homes in roads off Fairfax Drive, Westcliff, have been dogged by power cuts which they say have become worse despite the installation of a new electricity sub-station.

One family, in Brightwell Avenue, says power has gone down for several hours during seven out of the last ten evenings.

Kevin Robinson, 49, a nurse at Rochford Hospital, is angry at the disruption.

He said: “Every winter we seem to get a spate of power cuts. We got a letter from UK Power Networks saying they had put in a new sub-station to solve the problem, but it’s worse this year.

“We’ve had cuts seven out ten nights. It usually happens around 6.30pm when people start cooking and lasts up to 9pm or 10pm. Sometimes it comes back on for a while, but then goes off again.”

Mr Robinson, who has four children at home aged between seven and 17, added: “It’s very disruptive if you have a young family. Last night it went off for two hours.

You can’t put kids to bed because the heating goes off as well. We’ve been lucky that it’s been milder this year. It was terrible last year when we had snow. I’ve written to our MP David Amess to try to get something done.”

Lesley Medhurst, 64, who also lives in Brightwell Avenue, added: “It always seems to happen when we are in the middle of preparing meals. It is also a worry when my grandchildren are here as we have to light candles.

“I have lived here for more than 30 years and I can’t remember a year when we haven’t had power cuts. They always happen at the same time in the evening so I think they shut the power off, but they don’t warn us.”

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: “We sincerely apologise. Our engineers have been monitoring the situation and investigations have revealed that demand for electricity in the area has grown over time.

“We would like to reassure the 72 customers affected that work has been carried out to try to return the network to its usual reliable state. This work is due to be completed within two weeks, however we are working as quickly as we can to complete the work sooner.

“We realise this must have been a frustrating and difficult time for our customers and are sorry for any inconvenience