It’s official: finally Newman breaks silence on Negrini’s exit

The battle over a lavish ‘golden handshake’ for the £220,000 per year chief executive appears to have been settled. By STEVEN DOWNES

Gone, but not forgotten: ex-CEO Jo Negrini

Tony Newman, the leader of the Labour-run council, finally broke his silence this afternoon to confirm that Jo “Negreedy” Negrini, the borough’s chief exec, is leaving Croydon after six years.

Inside Croydon broke the news seven days ago.

Negrini leaves Croydon with the council in debt to the tune of £1.5billion, and close to going broke, and with a process to axe 400 council workers’ jobs  under way, while the town centre remains run-down after eight years of development blight prompted by the empty promises of Negrini’s mates at Westfield, the shopping mall operators.

Today’s email, sent from the council’s internal communications email address, was timed at 2.36pm, and sent to the borough’s 70 councillors. Ostensibly it was sent from Newman, only just back from his holidays.

Insiders at Fisher’s Folly believe that much of the message will have been drafted by Negrini, or her lawyers, and she will have had sign-off on its final version.

The email said:

Dear Councillors,

I am writing to you today to let you know that Jo Negrini is leaving the council. Jo has worked for Croydon since 2014 and became the borough’s first female chief executive four years ago in 2016.

I want to thank Jo for her dedicated service. Her belief in the borough and Croydon as a place played a big part in our regeneration and growth ambitions, similarly her commitment to delivering services out in our communities – supporting people when and where they need it most – has helped to shape our localities agenda with the NHS and voluntary sector.

She has positively supported and promoted diversity in leadership throughout her career as part of her clear commitment and passion for opportunities for diversity in the workplace. Through her leadership she has championed equalities in her time as chief executive of one of the more diverse boroughs in London and assembled one of the most diverse leadership teams of any council in the country.

Jo’s work leading the council’s response to the Croydon tram crash, having just become the chief executive, was phenomenal, as was her role in supporting our journey to a good Ofsted rating for our Children’s services. More recently Jo led our response to the covid-19 crisis, alongside many talented officers, through absolutely unprecedented pressures.

This is a challenging time for local government and Jo is leaving with all the structures and the team in place to navigate through this post-covid period and see the council through the next stage in its journey.

I know you will join me in wishing Jo all the best for the future.

Shifa Mustafa, Croydon’s executive director of place, will be covering the chief executive role while future arrangements are put in place.

I know this continues to be a difficult time for everyone and I would like to again thank you all for your hard work and dedication to serving Croydon and its residents.

Was she sacked, or did she quit? Read more here

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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7 Responses to It’s official: finally Newman breaks silence on Negrini’s exit

  1. derekthrower says:

    “This is a challenging time for local government and Jo is leaving with all the structures and the team in place to navigate through this post-covid period and see the council through the next stage in its journey”.

    To bankruptcy.

  2. Sebastian Tillinger says:

    I think you’ll find the emergency services and community care workers on the ground did all the ‘phenomenal’ work after the Croydon tram crash. I know people who were professionally involved in the aftermath of this tragedy and to say Jo Negrini was ‘phenomenal’ is bullshit.

    I’m not happy about Shifa Mustafa becoming stand-in CEO. Not because I’m concerned Newman would be stupid enough to promote her to the position permanently, it’s because Mustafa has made no impact as far as I am aware since she joined the council. There’s been countless occasions over the last year when she could have addressed the huge disquiet about planning in this borough and she chose not to. Silence. And more silence.

    God, I am sick of Tony Newman’s craven ineptitude.

    Can I suggest Tony Newman is barred from making decisions?

    He can attend cultural events and processions but anything that is fiscal, managerial or at risk of being disadvantageous to Croydon is removed from his desk until the next election.

  3. Richard Sarbot says:

    Jo Negrini is unemployable. In the end, she was just living on the successes of her past and just after the money. In the end, her true colors shone through and we the common people paid a price for it. I wish her a happy retirement.

  4. Looks to me like Tony Newman was talking about another Negrini.

    The one he eulogises is certainly not the same inept one who has been allowed to lead Croydon into concrete dystopia, bankruptcy and disgrace.

    Or is it, as some suspect, that Newman is simply delusional and, like his ex-CEO, he is just not up to the job?

  5. Marcus Rigby says:

    How do these people sleep at night knowing they have wrecked 400 people’s livelihoods and think its ok to pay a substantial sum of tax payers money to a complete failure and get away with it,Fat Tony is out of his depth and just needs to resign himself. No short of a prison sentence should suffice in Negreedy’s case!!

  6. Sheryl Sandra Read says:

    There are a lot of things not right with the running of this borough, Covid 19 is going to be a good excuse to justify what they intend to do to hide their poor management. 1.5 billion debt is quite an achievement and I am sure she didn’t manage that on her own. I do know one thing for sure it will be the council tax payers that will have to pick up after this debacle in a raising if council taxation, reduction in services and a loss of our local authority officers jobs. I do not wish her a long happy retirement.

    • Jenny Marlen says:

      Wish Jo MEGREEDY”well”!!!! I don’t think so!! That woman only Accomplishment was to ruin the once High Flying London Borough of Croydon.

      How she has the nerve with little or no Concience to ask for a MASSIVE payoff when so many staff members are facing Redundancy.

      I have always said Croydon rewards INCOMPETENCE, and here we have it with “Jo MEGREEDY”

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