CLAIMS that the big switch off has been a success has angered villagers who want to have their say.

More than 400 residents in Southminster have signed a petition to get some street lights back on at night in the village.

And, despite the trial to switch off street lights in the Maldon District between midnight and 5am finishing and the review beginning, residents still claim they are not being listened to.

Richard Saward, 63, is a disabled resident in Southminster who has been helping as much as he can with the petition. He said: "We are out in the country and are not getting any responses from people in power about the street lights.

"We ask them at Maldon District Council to talk to us but they say it is up to Essex County Council.

"We want Essex County Council to come to discuss it but nobody will.

"We have suggested reasonable alternatives for the village and we are not asking for miracles just some lighting back.

"The trial has certainly not been a success and it is not only us that think so."

But the bad feeling in Burnham about the trial, which led to a petition in April of last year, seems to have dimmed.

A spokesman for Burnham Town Council was not aware of any current petitions in the town and the mayor also confirmed a change of heart.

Mayor of Burnham Carole Noble said: "I was not happy about it initially but apart from the lady who fell over I have not heard too many people complaining.

"Most people in Burnham are not out after midnight and those that are say they just take a torch so it is not really a big problem."

Last week the Standard revealed that the darkness will remain in the district for at least another four to six weeks while the review of the trial switch-off is done.

But several rumours are circulating that the trial has already been deemed a success - although this is denied by Essex County Council - and that the switch-off will actually be rolled out countywide.