Neighbourhood Action Panel’s in Loughton and Debden are to have their meetings merged, as of this month.

Then, in a more controversial move, they will be asked to meet up on Sunday evenings.

Police have confirmed the merger as they say that the turn out from local residents does not warrant holding two separate meetings.

A spokesman said: “The two have been merged as the attendance at both has been low and the issues being raised were similar across both areas.

“Police are hoping that by combining the groups they will be able to get a better overview and take a joint approach to issues.”

In a further twist, meetings have been planned on Sunday evenings, during the summer months, from 7:30pm.

Bill Davies from Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Watch said that meeting on a weekend will do nothing to encourage the public to attend.

He said: “It is not a good idea. I certainly would not think about meeting on a Sunday. People have lives to live, but I suppose it is down to them.”

The first joint meeting will be held on February 25, at Barrington Community Hall.