This is what £8,000 of public money buys at MIPIM (Part 2)

MIPIM 1Two affluent-looking suits, over their Cannes croissants and cafes au lait pose with the Med in the background for local quango Develop Croydon’s photographer, pretending to read Croydon News, the execrable propaganda freesheet.

This touching scene from around the fringes of MIPIM, the annual developers’ champagne “junket” (© Tony Newman), was published on Twitter yesterday in all seriousness to show what a good job the various lacklustre PR companies and part-developer-funded groupies were doing.

Nearly £8,000 of tax-payers’ money has been spent on sending three senior Croydon officials to the four-day MIPIM conference, a decision which was never discussed, nor aired or challenged, in a public forum. Executive director Jo Negrini was able to use her “delegated authority” to book her plane tickets to the south of France.

What benefits attending MIPIM at any time in the past decade or more have been achieved by Croydon Council remains unclear. That may well be because there have been no substantial benefits.

Attendance, after all, is not mandatory. Australian-based developers Westfield didn’t bother spending their money on booking a stand or paying for a canape reception this year. Why would they need to, when the Labour-run council’s Australian-born executive director Jo Negrini is there, doing their bidding for them, and all at public expense at a time of austerity, job cuts and loss of frontline services around the borough?

Click here to see the first part of this occasional series. There’s more still to come.

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1 Response to This is what £8,000 of public money buys at MIPIM (Part 2)

  1. davidcallam says:

    When the commercial property market is buoyant, Croydon sells itself; when it isn’t, nobody is buying. In either case what need does the council have to send officers to the south of France at tax-payers’ expense? Absolutely none.

    It’s a jolly, a junket, a chance for a bunch of sad public service administrators to rub shoulders with better-paid and largely more astute real estate executives.

    If Jo Negrini wants to be a property developer, let her get a job in the private sector, where any failure to deliver will be greeted with the sack.

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