Twickenham Riverside councillor Sam Salvoni has branded rumours about her moving permanently to Cornwall as “malicious” lies.

Before Christmas people were saying on a forum that Coun Salvoni had permanently moved to Truro with her family, but this week she said she split her time 50/50 between the coastal town and this borough.

She said: “I’m slightly confused to why people are saying this. This is not why I wanted to join politics, í hate all these malicious lies.

“I became a councillor because I was concerned about the riverside and the parking. I have always worked to serve the residents in the area.”

Coun Salvoni became a member of the finance overview and scrutiny committee in January 2011 after stepping down from her post as cabinet member for community development “to focus on her family”.”

She joined Richmond Council in May 2010 as part of a complete political overturn of councillors from Liberal Democrats to Conservatives following a huge debate over the proposed Twickenham Riverside development.

When she was elected she had a house in Strawberry Hill and a house in Cornwall, but noted this week that on Facebook and the family’s holiday home website, Mrs Salvoni and her husband Robert Salvoni said they had moved to Cornwall for good.

One message, signed off as “Thanks, Robert and Sam”, said: “Dear all. Now that we have moved full time into our Truro home”, and another message said: “The siren of the surf was too great, and we abandoned London all together.”

Coun Salvoni said this was just a sales tactic though and that she was still spending a lot of time in the borough while her husband mainly stays in Cornwall.

She said: “I will probably always have a property [in the borough] so I won’t move full-time. I will always have something here and my mother-in-law lives in Kew so we need to come and see her, so I can’t move away permanently.”

Deputy leader of Richmond Council Councillor Geoffrey Samuel said Coun Salvoni still attended all overview and scrutiny committee meetings and council meetings.

Coun Samuel said: “She’s probably spending more time in Cornwall than when she was first elected, but there’s no difference other than that.

“It’s not a question of calling in a by-election. Her position from when she started is, as far as I’m concerned, unchanged.”

The legal requirement to remain a councillor is to attend any council meeting every six months, which still entitles them to claim their £9,400 allowance for the position per year.

The allowance for a cabinet member for community development can claim a special responsibility allowance, which between May 22, 2012, and May 21, 2013, was set at £5,000 a year.

One Twickenham Riverside resident, who asked not to be named, said: “As far as I know, no one locally has seen or heard from her for over a year now.

“For example, a lot of local residents attended the recent council planning committee meeting on the Ryde House development.

"Both our other councillors spoke - Scott Naylor and Susan Chappell - but she was nowhere to be seen at the meeting before or afterwards.

"It’s hard to see how she can do the job of a local councillor in Twickenham if she’s living in Cornwall.”

Coun Salvoni said there were enough people working on the issue and she mainly focuses on the financial side in her role on the overview and scrutiny committee.

She added: “I have got a young family, so I may not be active as the other councillors.”