A shake-up of council meetings means there could be less time to discuss key issues such as fly-tipping and the green belt, a councillor has warned.

Enfield Council’s environment forum was created by merging its green belt forum, conservation advisory group and public transport consultative group.

Cllr Lindsay Rawlings says the merger of three formerly separate groups means some topics that “greatly affect the environment” may be given less attention.

Cllr Rawlings (Conservative, Town), who is shadow cabinet member for environment, said the size of the new group – with up to 31 members made up of five councillors and 26 representatives of other groups – could mean less time is devoted to specific issues.

She said she had received “many emails and seen many posts on social media regarding the current problems of littering and dumped rubbish” but was concerned there would be nowhere to discuss them.

Speaking after the first meeting of the forum on August 18, Cllr Rawlings said: “There are three quite distinct groups that have been merged, so people are trying to have knowledge across all three groups. The forum is not going to be able to focus fully on all these areas – that is my worry.”

Cllr Rawlings said the forum will only consider major planning applications in conservation areas, while the conservation advisory group discussed all applications. But even minor applications can have an impact on these areas, she claimed.

The Conservative councillor also warned there could be less time to discuss important issues like Meridian Water, the Edmonton Incinerator and the future of Whitewebbs Golf Course.

“At the last meeting of the green belt forum, we had a lot of time looking at Whitewebbs and all the possible changes there, but would we be able to spend 45 minutes on it now? Probably not – it would have been more like ten or 15 minutes”, she said.

The shake-up of council meetings also saw the creation of the environment and climate action scrutiny panel, which met for the first time on Tuesday (September 8).

The panel will discuss issues such as the climate action plan, Meridian Water sustainability and fly-tipping at future meetings.

Enfield Council has been approached for comment.