SIX Swindon councillors are claiming a share of a £9m pensions pot, despite being in roles traditionally regarded as voluntary jobs.

The public servants, together with paid employees, are receiving contributions from a fund which is equivalent to £47 annually for every person in the town.

Campaigners say the money, paid by the council into the Local Government pension Scheme, ultimately comes from the public purse.

A spokeswoman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Households in Swindon have seen their council tax almost double in the last 10 years, yet much of that money is being spent on pensions, not services.

“A total of £47 for every man, woman and child in the Swindon area goes on pension contributions for council staff and now some councillors are enrolled on this scheme too.

“These figures show the urgent need to reform the Local Government Pension Scheme.”

The figures relate to the amount the council pays into the scheme, to which workers also contribute a certain amount every month.

A council spokesman said councillors voted in 2005 to adopt recommendations made by the previous government – and passed to an independent renumeration panel governing allowances and expenses – to allow the unpaid representatives to pay contributions and draw pensions.

“It was something the previous government felt that councillors should be entitled to join if they wished,” he said.

“The councillors voted to accept that recommendation.”

The spokesman added that 53 councillors had not enrolled on the scheme.

Employer pension contributions by the council worked out at £9,668,232 for 2010 to 2011 – a rise of £486 on the year before.

The amount is equivalent to £47 for each of Swindon's 201,757 residents in figures obtained by the Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act.

Nationally councils paid £5.175b in pension contributions last year, equating to £1 in every £5 gathered in council tax, the statistics showed.

The Local Government Pension Scheme has 4.5 million members in the country, including local government employees and some councillors. It is set to undergo reforms which will take effect in 2014.