A FAMILY rolled up their sleeves and cleared up an alleyway of the rubbish and overgrown weeds which had been blocking it.

Gary Hobbs, his wife, Judy and daughters Tiffany and Crystal, spent their Sunday morning cleaning the alleyway, off Clarendon Road, Canvey.

It’s a job Mr Hobbs says county and borough councils should be doing, but they don’t.

The Canvey dad says he has tidied the footpath three times in the past year because he was fed up about the state it was in.

Mr Hobbs, 29, said: “It gets really bad.

“There are quite a few residents in the area who rely on mobility scooters to get around.

“They haven’t been able to use the alleyway, because of how it’s become.

“It really smells in there and I’ve heard a lot of people refuse to use it.”

Mr Hobbs said the family picked up 19 beer cans, filled half a carrier bag with cigarette butts, and even found a pair of women’s knickers during the clean-up.

It took the determined dad and his family more than an hour to clean the alleyway, which runs next to their back garden. Mr Hobbs added: “People who live nearby are really happy about it, they’re quite chuffed it looks better and are able to use it more easily.”

Neighbour Erica Reade said: “I live at the top of Clarendon Road and my sister lived in Rainbow Road.

“It was disgusting to walk through. I used to hold my breath every time. It looks absolutely amazing now.”

Castle Point Council says residents should contact it about rubbish in alleyways before taking matters into their own hands.

A spokesman said: “The last complaint we had about this alleyway was in August 2011.

“Pinnacle, our cleaning contractor, will clear alleyways if they are littered, or subject to fly tipping.

“Residents can help us greatly by letting us know when a problem occurs between our normal inspections.”