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CALLS have been made for flood pumps on Canvey to be manned full time.

Jamie Huntman, Ukip’s parliamentary candidate for the island, said workers had to come from Wickford last weekend to fix the pumps, which failed after being hit by lightning.

The Environment Agency, which manages them, said they were not working for 12 minutes, but Mr Huntman claims they were out of action for much longer, leading to more severe flooding on the island.

He said: “Why can’t they have someone there to man them when they know there’s going to be a problem?

“If the pumps fail and the back-up generator doesn’t come on, all that happens is the man with the key has to come to fix it.

“And if the island is flooded, how do they get here?”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “It would be inappropriate to have a permanent member of staff at each of the 13 pumping stations on the island.

“Should any of the pumps fail to operate an alarm is immediately sent to our control room which is manned 24 hours a day.”