The council has set its crosshairs on regenerating town centres and housing estates.

At the first meeting of Epping Forest’s cabinet this civic year, on Monday, June 12, members will go over a series of independent reports aimed at reinvigorating the district’s high streets in the wake of Covid-19.

The cabinet will discuss reports on Epping, Ongar, Waltham Abbey, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton High Street and Broadway.

Cllr John Philip, cabinet member for economic development, said: “Encouraging residents to shop local is a key factor in climate change and our aspirations to become carbon neutral.

“High Streets across the district are valued by residents and visitors alike and these reports provide a starting point for all the businesses and town/parish councils that support them to come together and ensure they continue to thrive.

“Click It Local introduced during the pandemic encourages people to shop locally and have their purchases delivered to their door in just one trip. It is proving very popular.”

The cabinet will also discuss potential maintenance and upgrading of housing on council estates.

A pilot project is planned for the Limes Farm Estate and preliminary work has already begun with officers consulting residents on proposed works.

Cllr Holly Whitbread, cabinet member for housing, said: “Regeneration and creation of a warmer, more connected place for residents to live is key, Initial discussions with residents include new tree planting, outdoor play areas and better signage and officers will continue to consult with residents throughout the 18-month project. Meanwhile several other estates have already been identified to benefit from this approach.”

Sheltered council housing for older tenants also features on the cabinet agenda.

Consultation with residents shows that communal lounges are in need of a make-over.

Members are being asked to approve a leasing scheme for furniture and fittings – through a registered social enterprise. The council claims this will enable sheltered housing schemes to be spruced up at no capital cost to the council for fixtures and fittings and no cost to current tenants.

The plans would see the council fund the decoration of each scheme based on the specification provided by the external design team and will lease new furniture over a period of five years – after which it becomes the property of the council.