TaxPayers' Alliance finds Bristol council wasted over £5 million

For immediate release

Research by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed Bristol city council has wasted at least £5 million of taxpayers’ money in the last five years. The council has launched a consultation which could potentially raise tax by five per cent next year thanks to bungling bosses and their carelessness with taxpayers’ cash. In Bristol it has already risen by 33.4 per cent between 1997 and 2017.

The TPA is urging residents to oppose a council tax rise and start a War on Waste to stop their taxes going down the drain. Many Bristolians have seen their finances decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. Any increase in council tax will further add to their woes as they struggle to make ends meet.

Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance said:

“With many households facing financial strife, the last thing they need is an inflation-busting council tax rise.

“Despite pleading poverty and saying budgets are squeezed, the council has splurged millions on fat cat bosses, pet projects and a failed energy company.

“The council needs to get a grip on its budget, eradicate wasteful spending and stop plundering the pockets of its already over-taxed residents.”



Examples of the £5 million of waste:

  • Over £900,000 spent on taxis between February and September 2020.

  • Over £30,000 on diesel, despite the council approving a ban on diesel cars entering parts of the city centre last year.

  • Almost £20,000 wasted on room hire during the pandemic, including over £1,600 for an election event that didn’t go ahead.

  • A £23,000 bike allowance.

  • £2,000 grant to the arts agency behind the #WhoseFuture campaign, covering topics including divisive posters.

  • 7 council employees received more than £100,000 in 2018-19.

  • Over £2.1 million on the mayor’s office between 2015 and 2019.

  • £400,000 pumped into Avon Mutual community bank - dubbed "the next Bristol Energy". 

  • Councillors awarded themselves a £180,000 pay rise in March.


Other wasteful projects:



TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Media contact:

Danielle Boxall
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)



Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, reduce spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. Between 1997 and 2017 council tax has increased by 57 per cent in real terms across England. 


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