Southend Council’s budget for 2019 has been approved by members of the cabinet, making way for a 4.5 per cent rise in council tax as well as investment in the pier, roads and social care.

The budget - described by the leader of the council as “really good news” - has been going through a series of scrutiny committees and is likely to receive final approval when it is discussed by the full council next week.

It will bring significant funding to Southend Pier, which will see £18million contributed towards replacing the trains, a new restaurant and a visitor’s pavilion.

The council has also earmarked £2million to upgrade CCTV in the town centre.

Another £5.7million will be invested in child and adult services, which will be partially paid for by the 4.5 per cent council tax rise – the equivalent of an extra £58 for a Band D property.

The council tax rise will be in addition to a £24 rise from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to fund an extra 215 new police officers across Essex.

Council leader John Lamb praised the budget plans during the cabinet meeting on Tuesday and told council officers: “We are putting the money there, so spend it, make it happen. The money is there, let’s make sure we deliver on what we are saying.”

The budget also includes some good news for motorists, with all parking fees set to be frozen in all council car parks in an effort to support business, shops and tourism in the borough.

Hundreds of new short stay car parking spaces will also be trialled in order to allow residents to pay a small fee to visit the town centre for up to an hour.

Councillor James Courtenay said: “I’m conscious of the impact of costs for people to come to the town when they wish to stay for a very short period of time and having listened to business, we are introducing what I term the ultra-short stay.

“We have our short stay and we have our medium and long stay car parks but for those who want to stay for 30 minutes or an hour to just nip in and do one or two things then come back out, we are trialling car parks on London Road North, near Santander and East Coast Central, and we are also trialling a new car park on Pitman’s Close.

“You’ll be able to stay for half an hour or an hour and that’s it, then you’ll have to leave so there will be a good turn around. It will cost you from 20 pence.”

One-hour parking over the summer is also set to be reintroduced at Seaway car park, having been previously scrapped last year in favour of a two-hour minimum stay.