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Council services over the Christmas period

Council services over the Christmas period

Our services over the Christmas and New Year period

Many services will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period, but you can still access many services online.

The council’s contact centre is closed from Monday 26 December until 9am Tuesday 3 January 2023. The community hub will also be closed during this time, so drop-in services will not be available.

Out-of-hours emergency

Our out-of-hours emergency service will respond where there is a risk to you and your family, or danger to the property.

  • Call 0333 230 0464

Social media

We’ll be monitoring our social media accounts from 9am until 9pm every day:


Make a payment online or over the phone, using our 24-hour automated telephone payment service:

Since the closure of the Loughton Broadway Housing office AllPay cards have been sent to Council Tax and Business Rates customers who used the office. Read our news story AllPay cards have been dispatched.

The payment kiosk at Waltham Abbey Library is available when the library is open.

Housing Benefit payments

Due to the Christmas bank holiday period Housing Benefit payments to private tenants and their landlords will be paid early.

  • If your usual payment issue date is Thursday 22 December, the revised issue date is Monday 19 December 2022 covering the period up to 26 December
  • If your usual payment issue date is Thursday 29 December, the revised issue date is Thursday 22 December covering the period up to 2 January 2023

Recycling and rubbish collections

To see if your collections dates have changed visit our check your collection page.

Real Christmas trees can be recycled in January. Leave it with your green-lidded garden and food waste bin. If it’s over 6 foot, cut in half and remove the pot and all decorations.

Boxes can be flat packed and left under recycling bags so they don’t blow away or placed inside the bags if they are small, larger boxes should be placed out flat packed on recycling week.

You can find the opening times for recycling centres over the Christmas period on the Love Essex website.

Council owned car parks

All our council owned car parks are free to park in on bank holidays and on weekends during December. A full list can be found on our pay and display car parks page.

Limes Centre

Limes Community Café closes on Monday 19 December and reopens Monday 16 January and Limes Bereavement Café next meeting is Thursday 12 January 2023.

Epping Forest District Museum

Our museum in Waltham Abbey closes at 4pm on Wednesday 21 December and reopens at 10am on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

North Weald Airfield

North Weald Airfield opening hours over the festive period:

  • Christmas Eve – 8.30am – 3pm (Aviation to cease at 3pm)
  • Christmas Day – Closed
  • Boxing Day – Closed
  • Dec 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th & 31st – Open as usual
  • Jan 1st – Closed J
  • an 2nd (Bank Holiday) – Closed

Please note on the days we are closed: Access to the Airfield will only be possible via proximity cards. The only permitted aviation is that in relation to the Air Ambulance and Police operations.

Leisure centres

Some of our leisure centres are open some days over the Christmas period with reduced opening hours. Please check before visiting:

MOT service centre

Our MOT service centre in Loughton is closed from 1pm Friday 23 December and reopens 8am Tuesday 3 January.

Lost or found dogs

If you have lost or found a dog in the Epping Forest area, contact the Waltham Forest dog team:

  • Call 07815 512833 – from 10am to 7pm on bank holidays, (not available Christmas, Boxing or New Year’s day)

Leasehold property insurance claims

If you own the leasehold of a property and need to make a building insurance claim (not contents), please refer to Insurance for leaseholders on our website.

Keep up to date

Keep in touch with our latest news, service updates and reports.

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