A union is calling for streetlights to be switched back on at night in residential areas.

The GMB, a general workers union with almost 620,000 members, fears Essex County Council is putting residents in “unnecessary danger” by turning lamps out from midnight to 5am to save money.

It was introduced in Maldon and Uttlesford districts in early 2007.

Areas such as town centres, key road junctions and places where lights have been installed for safety reasons are exempt from the switch-off.

However, the union wants the exemption to apply to all residential areas.