A FORMER flood defence designer who campaigned for improvements for years has died.

Great Wakering parish councillor Brian Efde passed away in his sleep on Saturday, aged 76.

Mr Efde, of High Street, Great Wakering, was well known for his work with the Essex Flood Forum and was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

His wife, Rosalind, says he will be greatly missed by his friends and family – in particular his son, Daniel, daughter, Vic, son-in-law Phil, and two grandchildren, Jacob and Olivia.

Rosalind, who was married to Brian for 43 years, says he always thought of other people and this is reflected in him choosing to donate his body to science.

She said: “He always said he had no regrets and that he’s had a good life.

“He didn’t want to leave us because he felt he had so much to finish, and even recently was still making phone calls because there was so much he had to do.

“He always felt for the underdog and really did care for people – he didn’t like to see people being turned over and he always stuck to his guns.

“His favourite thing to do was to go down to the steam bath, where he would meet his childhood friends and socialise.

“He will be greatly missed by all of his friends and family.”

A dedicated campaigner, he was passionate about sea defences in Great Wakering, and wrote countless letters to various public bodies and MPs, gave many presentations and spoke at conferences on the issue.

He even set up a firm to build flood defences out of concrete rail sleepers, but closed the company and gave up the patent after critics accused him of a conflict of interest.

Tony Porter, chairman of Great Wakering Parish Council, said: “He will be very greatly missed. He was a nice man and a very strong character. His main focus was on sea defences and he was very passionate and active in that respect.”

The family have requested donations to Hospice at Home, a charity which cared for Brian, rather