Residents in Watford experiencing problems due to their street lights being switched off at night have been told to make their complaints known to their local county politicians.

Watford’s elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, has said the borough council looking at complaints to see where blackout is causing issues before taking residents’ cases up with the county.

Hertfordshire County Council has started turning street lights off between midnight and 6am on many streets around town as part of a £1m cost-savings scheme.

The council has exempted roads from the scheme that have traffic calming in or have high crime or accidents.

Mayor Thornhill said she was aware that some residents were complaining about the scheme and said the borough was looking to make formal representations to the county about roads it feels should have the lights switched back on.

However she said they were waiting for the initial wave of complaints to die down to see where the blackout had caused persistent problems.

“This has just come in and there are bound to be complaints until people are used to it,” said the Liberal Democrat.

“But we will log the complaints and map where they are coming from.”

One issue the borough would be lobbying the county on, said Mayor Thornhill, was the start time of the switch-off, which she feels should be rolled back to 1am.

She added: “We feel that it should start at 1am. There’s still a lot of life in Watford at that time.

“Midnight is too early for us urbanites.”

Since the blackout scheme was implemented it has provoked a string of complaints from residents in the town.

Hertfordshire County Council has argued for the switch-off scheme saying it will save money and reduce the area’s carbon footprint.

It has said it is open to amending where the lights go off and has been working with the town’s police over the issue.

In defence of the scheme the council has also pointed to other areas of the country which have implemented similar street lights switch of programmes.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary have revealed a reduction in crime since the scheme was introduced in South Gloucestershire, however they have noted that this is in line with an overall crime reduction in the area.

A spokesman from the constabulary said: “It is too early to assess what impact, if any, turning street lights off has on crime trends.

“All we can say at present is that it has not so far had a notable adverse impact on crime.”

Watford county councillor contact details: Meriden Tudor - Councillor Audrey Oaten, Liberal Democrat: Nascot Park - Councillor Mark Watkin, Liberal Democrat: Vicarage and Hollywell - Councillor Nigel Bell, Labour Party, Central Oxhey - Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Liberal Democrat: Woodside and Stanborough - Councillor Derek Scudder, Liberal Democrat: Callowland and Leggatts - Councillor Ian Brandon, Green: