Croydon’s Council Tax-payers were paying Jo Negrini £21,500 per year… just to smoke her cigarettes.
That’s according to the calculation – doubtless performed on the back of a cigarette packet – by one disillusioned council worker following the news that the borough’s chief executive is leaving Croydon with a handsome “golden handshake”.
In 2016, when Negrini was promoted to the borough’s top job, the salary was £180,000 per year.
She soon saw that increased by a cool 40 grand, with the approval of Tony Newman, the leader of the Labour-run council, to the £220,000 per year she was being paid by the time her agreed departure was announced yesterday (and that’s excluding the amounts, which she kept secret, that she was paid for her duties as the borough’s returning officer, overseeing elections).
That means that Negrini was being paid 10 times the average salary of the council staff she employed.
Yesterday, as the dust began to settle on avid smoker Negrini’s four years in charge at Fisher’s Folly, one staffer who had seen her regularly take the lift from her executive office down to ground floor level in order to take a drag on a ciggie out on Cost A Mint Walk, began to sift through the ashes (and butts) of her time in Croydon.
The sums look like this:
£220,000 per year works out at £602 per day.
£602 for a seven-hour day is £86 per hour.
At an average of four smoke sojourns each day, each taking around 15 minutes (by the time she’s waited for the lift, going down as well as up) means the smoke breaks were costing Council Tax-payers…
£86 per day.
Negrini may have spent even more time on cigarette breaks when she was off on one of her “junkets” (© Tony Newman), sipping chilled white wine and eating canapés with property developers at the annual “booze and hooker fest” in the south of France. But as she always refused to account for how her time at Cannes conferences were spent, we can only speculate how much time she spent on those and similar trips actually working on behalf of the people she was supposed to serve.
So, if we take it at four cigarette breaks a day during the regular week in the office, then £86 per day over the 250 working days in a year comes out at …
“We ended up paying her more than the national average wage just to smoke,” said the staffer with the pocket calculator.
“She did F all else.”
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