Closed footpaths on Shoebury East Beach are leaving people to negotiate “slippery” wooden steps to reach the seafront.

Two footpaths with steps leading to the beach have been closed for weeks after being declared unsafe by the council.

Walkers and beach-goers have been left to negotiate wooden steps and a wooden slope which have become slippery now that winter weather is setting in.

Residents have voiced frustrations that the paths have been shut off but no action appears to be underway to repair them.

Peter Lovett, vice president of the Shoeburyness Residents’ Association, said: “We’ve had a lot of complaints about this. The only access at that end of the beach is down the wooden steps which are slippery this time of year.

“They caved in so they put up barriers across them. I’ve asked all three councillors to let us know something because nothing seems to be being done about them.”

Shoebury councillor Nick Ward said he was aware of residents’ concerns and plans are underway to deal with the problem - but not until next year.

He said: “We are going to have them totally refurbished when the car park is done. They were closed because of a safety issue.

“There has been a little bit of subsidence there and they are listing to one side quite badly.

“We hope to have them put back by next summer. We are taking on the maintenance of sea defences as part of the 106 agreement with Garrison Developments.”

Mr Ward added: “There is quite a lot of work to be done with East Beach. The ward councillors have put aside community investment levy.

“When someone works on a development part of the fees come back to the ward and its quite a bit of money so we are having news trees planted on East Beach and new signs.

“We are also trying to decide how to deal with the problem of barbecues, whether this means a ban or some other solution.”