Southend’s council leaders have backed a plan to plant an extra 1,000 trees to make up for a failure to properly replace the hundreds that have been removed.

The council’s cabinet agreed to the proposal during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to mean a one-off investment of £316,850, which will include ongoing care as the trees grow.

The Labour-led coalition halted the removal of all non-emergency street trees shortly after taking control of the council and promised to draw up a new tree management policy after discovering an aim to plant two trees for every one removed had not been followed.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting Councillor Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said the extra tree planting was part of an interim plan while the new policy is being formed.

She added: “Having acknowledged the shortfall, which became apparent earlier this year, we are proposing a scheme of additional standard tree planting over the next three seasons of 1,000 trees.

"This is in addition to the normal tree planting which takes place in the course of the year in respect to street trees and the additional planting we do in parks and gardens.”

Council leader Ian Gilbert called the plan a “substantial commitment” which recognises how important tree management is to the council.