A RESIDENT from Corsham says he feels not enough is being done to prevent flooding of the River Avon, and has called for authorities to bring back dredging and regular rubbish removal to solve the problem.

Harry Metcalf, aged 82, from Poynder Road, said: “They have allowed the rivers to build up but if they had cleaned out the rubbish I’m 99 per cent sure all this flooding wouldn’t happen.

“We’re talking about 56 years ago, I use to watch the dredgers clean the rivers and gradually over the years they have stopped doing that.

“If they cleaned the rivers it would help. Why have they suddenly stopped? Because it has caused all these problems. They haven’t done it in so long, it’s ridiculous.

“I know they use to do it more recently in Bath as I use to work on the River Board. They scrapped it but it’s lead to what I think is even more issues with rivers over flowing.

Mr Metcalf worked at Avon Tyres where he has seen lots of changes with the River Avon.

He said: “There was this funny loop in the part of the river near to where I worked. They decided to make it straight and then of course the river ran faster.

“The river board, every month or so, if it rained heavily they would scoop stuff out and put it on the river bed to stop the overflowing water running away.

“In this country they don’t seem to be doing anything to prevent it. They’re cutting the work and we are paying for it. Whereas before everyone was doing their job and cleaning it up, now you see things like motorbikes just left in the water. I would like more to be done.”

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s (CIWEM) director of policy, Alastair Chisholm said: “Faster flows place greater strain on structures such as bridges or defences downstream and can be highly dangerous, as we’ve tragically seen this winter. It speeds more water towards downstream communities even faster, potentially putting them at greater risk.

“More investment in new hard defences will always be part of the solution. The exact combination of interventions in any given location will vary. Dredging could be part of that picture, but it is a long, long way from the silver bullet that some suggest.”