Not enough is being done to help keep roads and pavements free of snow and ice, neighbours say.

In previous winters, people have been able to use boxes of grit filled by the authorities to make their streets safe in cold weather.

But people living in Beaconfield Road in Epping say their salt bin has not been filled so far this year and they have only been able to claim a tiny amount of grit.

Belinda Job, who lives near the brow of the hill in the road, said: “I was shocked when I saw the size of the bag – it wouldn’t fill a Tesco bag.

“As far as I’m aware, I’m the only one in Beaconsfield Road with one of these bags.

“It’s absurd. I can’t even do the brow of the hill with this much salt.”

She said she had been told by Essex County Council that they would not be refilling the box near her home, which helped neighbours cope with last year’s snowy weather.

The 48-year-old added: “We’re very community-minded. It’s a bit like the Blitz mentality.

“But the facility to put the salt down has been taken away from us and it’s unbelievable.

“We’ve paid our council tax for this.”

Her neighbour Nina Aim, 50, said: “A couple of years ago, a car ploughed down that road and hit another car.

“I had to go and buy some salt so I could do our road. I shouldn’t have to go out and buy it.”

Epping Town Council handed out the small bags, which were provided by Essex County Council, in November.

Clerk Ash Tadjrishi said: “The county council contacted us to see if we would like a small allocation of salt that could be used for the community, for example in front of a doctor’s surgery or a communal area.

“The county council is responsible for gritting and this was really for access use.”

He added that the town council had been inundated by the number of people asking for salt bags.