£21,500 a year up in a puff of smoke: Negrini’s ciggie bonus

Croydon’s Council  Tax-payers were paying Jo Negrini £21,500 per year… just to smoke her cigarettes.

Lots of your money going up in smoke

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.

In the end, Jo Negrini’s time as CEO just ran out of puff

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.”

Was Negrini 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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to £21,500 a year up in a puff of smoke: Negrini’s ciggie bonus

  1. Sebastian Tillinger says:

    At the heart of this rot in the council is Tony Newman, Its clear what has to now happen.

  2. Beverley Carpenter says:

    I am replying to the article about Negrini and her replacement. Why on earth are Croydon council giving her a golden handshake. She has wasted millions of pounds of local authority money and leaves so many staff now being made redundant. It is disgusting that the council or government would pay her anything. Her salary and that of her replacement would keep a few employees employed for a while! There are, as usual, too many chiefs doing absolutely nothing and getting paid a fortune for it. Nothing more should be paid to her – she doesn’t deserve it! Croydon council have wasted enough money on hairbrained schemes don’t let them do it again.

    • Sebastian Tillinger says:

      There’s a lot of anger at the uselessness of Tony Newman and the role he has played in all this.

      One of the key responsibilities of the leader of the elected council (Tony Newman) is appointing the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

      He is also responsible for managing and reviewing the CEO’s performance.

      Has Newman done that? Has he reviewed Negreedys performance, is there a HR file he’s inputted into? Of course there isn’t. If he had, there would certainly be no talk of a golden handshakes.

      Tony Newman will now have cost Croydon a further £250,000 or whatever stupid sum has been agreed behind doors with ‘polite-Tim’.

      Citizens of Croydon should not forget when Newman was elected he had an obligation to recruit and manage the best talent possible to lead the council. Instead, he’s fucked up every important decision and put the council on a trajectory to bankruptcy

      Newman took an Oath of Office to carry out this role impartially, to the best of his ability, and in the best interests of Croydon. The electorate will judge him on that – I’ll certainly be writing a few digital flyers to put everyone straight.

  3. Maureen Dale says:

    Why should she be rewarded for failure

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