A community that took matters into its own hands by cleaning up a public footpath has urged its council to focus on areas blighted by litter and overgrown shrubs.

Residents of Harrow Garden Village tidied up a stretch of land leading from Rayners Lane Station to Beechcroft Avenue last month.

Nitesh Kachalia, who was involved in the clean-up, said the responsibility for ensuring the area looks presentable should not lie with taxpayers.

“Harrow Council is responsible for maintaining – in a safe, hygienic and attractive condition – the stairwell and public footpath used daily by local residents and visitors to the area,” he said.

“We would love to see the same levels of care, responsibility and commitment demonstrated by the local residents reciprocated by the leadership of Harrow Council. Unfortunately, at this point in time, it does not seem to be the case.”

Mr Kachalia said there were empty beer cans, broken glass and discarded e-cigarette cartridges near the footpath, alongside other forms of litter.

This, he argued, has attracted rats to the area, and he believes they are being naturally protected by the overgrown shrubs lining the path.

He explained how the “proud community” from Oakington Avenue, Beechcroft Avenue and The Drive had taken time out their weekend to transform the area.

This included clearing up rubbish, trimming the vegetation and manually plugging any holes believed to be used by vermin.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, thanked the community for its efforts and noted there are plans to implement a new fly-tipping strategy across the borough.

He said: “Every day our crews collect around 18 tonnes of rubbish off our streets.

“And, like our residents, I hate seeing our streets made dirty by those who take no responsibility for their waste.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the community for helping to keep the area tidy through their community clear up.

“They don’t have to do it, but I appreciate how much they care about the area they live and work in.

“No one should live or work around filth, so we’re reviewing the frequency of street cleansing for this area.

“We’re also putting together a fly-tipping strategy to help us take even tougher action against those making our borough dirty by littering and dumping waste illegally.”

He added that residents should continue to report street cleaning issues through the council’s website, so its teams can address them quickly.