ANGRY shopkeepers claim County Hall bosses are leaving Clacton town centre in the dark.

Graham Webb, chairman of Clacton Town Partnership, said shopkeepers are frustrated at the time it is taking Essex County Council to repair dozens of streetlights in the town centre.

The council’s own website shows it is investigating reports that 27 lights are not working.

The number includes 11 in Pier Avenue, five in Station Road, four in Hight Street, three in West Avenue, two in Rosemary Road and one in Marine Parade East.

Other lights in the surrounding area are also broken, but have not been reported on the system.

Mr Webb said: “There are four light out at the entrance to High Street. It’s atrocious, especially in a time when there are behaviour problems and a lack of footfall in town centres.

“County Hall are leaving us in the dark.

“The two darkest months are behind us, but this hasn’t done the Christmas business any good.

“One shopkeeper thanked us for putting the Christmas lights up, because he would at least have some light outside his shop.

“In the evenings, restaurants and takeaways are still open, but people don’t want to be walking in dark streets.

“Businesses are struggling to compete with online retails and have to pay high rates – and they expect those rates to be spent on maintaining street lights outside shops.

“The fact that Colchester has a bigger town centre, but has just 13 lights out says it all about how we are neglected here.

“One light, outside the Wool Cabin, in High Street, has been out for at least a year – the shopkeeper reports it online every month, but nothing has been done.”

An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “There are some lights out on busy sections of roads in Clacton where we can only safely access the lights to make repairs by closing part of the road with cones, barriers and temporary traffic lights, so these repairs are scheduled carefully so that they can be carried out efficiently and without excessive disruption to traffic.

"The light at the Wool Cabin was installed as an LED light in July 2017 and our system shows it is working correctly.

"We don’t have any reports about it since then, so please do report it at if it has failed or is not working correctly.”