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The Daily Mail reports that the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears is proposing to allow councillors to continue being paid allowances, averaging £10,000 even if they never turn up to meetings. She proposed new rules that would allow councillors to vote by mobile phone from a pub or while watching TV in their sitting rooms.

Shadow Communities Secretary Caroline Spelman opposes the Government plans. "Armchair voting and coach potato councillors will cause real cynicism," she warns.