Sixteen people complained to Essex County Council about its street light policy in one month.

One person wrote directly to the chief executive and deputy chief executive about the lights, which have been turned off across Essex between midnight and 5am.

A further 15 people wrote to the cabinet member for highways about the policy in March this year, according to a freedom of information response.

Maldon and Uttlesford were the first districts to switch to part night lighting in 2007 and the last boroughs in the county were changed this year, resulting in more than 70 per cent of county council owned lights being off for five hours of the night.

The authority believes it will save £1m per year.