FLYTIPPERS will be prosecuted for clogging up drains and dykes, a councillor has warned.

In the wake of flash flooding across Canvey last month, the Environment Agency has found piles of rubbish blocking vital dykes and drains.

An office chair, food wrappers and bin bags of rubbish were dragged out of drains by officers over the weekend.

Now Ray Howard, Canvey county councillor responsible for floods and water management, is determined to stamp out the problem.

Mr Howard said: “It’s very disappointing when we are all trying to work together.

“We all have a major part to play and for people to be irresponsible by putting rubbish in dykes is unforgiveable. The council provides a good service at Waterside Farm recycling centre for people to take their refuse.

“There is no need to chuck it everywhere.

“It stops the water flow and affects flooding.

“We have to catch these people, name and shame them and prosecute them.

“The public do have to take some responsibility. People have to realise rubbish is a nuisance.”

Environment Agency workers have been busy clearing debris from dykes near pumping stations, including Hilton, near Buyl Avenue Colin Letchford, chairman of Friends of Concord Beach, saw an office chair pulled from a dyke.

He said: “On Friday, like many islanders, I was wondering if ex-hurricane Bertha would bring more flooding to Canvey. I felt enraged that with all the recent publicity about flooding on the island and the problems with the drainage, someone had disposed of the chair in this way.

“The Environment Agency has a massive task with these unprecedented heavy downpours and our drainage system would work much better if the uncaring individuals who discarded this rubbish would take more pride in our Island.”

THE Environment Agency is urging people to be careful with their rubbish.

Workers clean drains and dykes around the island’s 13 pumping stations on a weekly basis.

Dave Knagg, Essex operations manager for the agency, said: “Canvey is certainly not forgotten about, there is a heavy maintenance programme. We remove debris from protection screens near the pumping stations on a weekly basis.

“The screens are robust, but the litter can cause damage and block water.

“When there is a yellow weather warning, we try to get out early to do extra cleaning.

“We ask residents to pick up their litter and not to use the channels as a convenient disposal route for their garden waste as it can block up.”

On average, the agency removes about 80 tonnes of debris a year from drains and dykes.

If you see litter blocking a drain or dyke, call the agency’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.