RESIDENTS living near a homeless centre have complained about an alley being used as a toilet and dumping ground for discarded needles, beer cans and rubbish.

People living in Finchley Road, Westcliff, say those who go to Harp’s day centre, in Valkyrie Road, end up sleeping rough in an alley running between the centre and their homes.

The alley is an access way to the back gardens.

A spokesman for Harp, which also has a night shelter in York Road, Southend, said it will meet with concerned residents to find a solution.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It stinks to high heaven and is full of rubbish. There are some that sleep out there and as I live alone I feel vulnerable. It’s used as a toilet and is just awful.

“I’ve found used needles there recently. There were four there which I had to clear away. The council and Harp are aware as I’ve complained to them.”

Gary Turner, Harp’s service operations manager, said: “We always try to manage the building and the people as they leave the building, but through their own free will they do as they like. It’s an unfortunate scenario.

“The land isn’t owned by us so we can’t put a gate on it and ultimately it’s the residents property.

“However, we are contacting them all and are inviting them to get in touch or have a meeting with me to explore how we can find a solution. “ A Southend Council spokesman said previously council contractors have cleared the site of rubbish, but it was ultimately the responsibility of the residents.