‘Autocratic’ CEO took ‘bizarre decisions that make you weep’

The fall-out from Jo Negrini’s time in charge of the council could have a lasting impact, as a senior council figure breaks their silence about their ‘out of control’ former boss

Some staff working at Fisher’s Folly have been celebrating the departure of Negrini

In a withering attack on the departing chief executive, a senior council official has described Jo Negrini as “autocratic”, saying she was out of the control of the borough’s elected representatives.

They accuse her of being “disorganised” and “an indolent charlatan”.

Negrini, they said,  “took some toe-curlingly bizarre decisions that would make you want to weep”.

“I am celebrating the departure of the autocratic Jo Negrini,” the long-serving council official has told friends, asking not to be identified.

“The woman was a bully who frightened the hell out of ordinary councillors. Her regime was out of control. She brought in people she liked, not based on competence. She disregarded councillors and had no respect for them. She wallowed in her own importance and greatness.”

The council worker is a member of a trades union, and is concerned that the council’s Labour-run administration, under council leader Tony Newman, is taking the blame for many decisions which were, in fact, attributable to Negrini, who they characterise as being “out of control”.

Unions at the Town Hall have become increasingly concerned at the attitudes towards black and minority ethnic – BAME – employees during Negrini’s time in charge.

“She did not care for the Labour Party and never shared Labour Party principles or ideologies,” the source said, “otherwise we would not have seen such decimation of all equality and diversity policy in the council.

Jo Negrini: An ‘indolent charlatan’ who ‘wallowed in her own importance’

“Huge numbers of people who have been charged with disciplinary offences have been BAME, especially black women.”

Negrini was, according to the council official, “on a tangent of her own”.

“Her council took some toe-curlingly bizarre decisions that would make you want to weep.

“She was was on her way destroying the Labour Party in Croydon. And yet the leadership in the Town Hall just let her be.

“She has caused a lot of damage to Croydon in general and Labour in particular. It was her arrogance that allowed Brick by Brick was allowed to ignore local community concerns in their consultation processes.

“The people of Croydon have a right to know the truth, which is that Labour-run councils have borne the brunt of local government cuts over a decade of austerity. On average, Labour councils saw their spending power reduced by 34 per cent, while the average Conservative council suffered an equivalent decline of less than a quarter, 24 per cent.

“Croydon Council has been among the worst sufferers. All these cuts have been building up and has led to the current cash crisis.”

Read more: £400,000 ‘golden handshake’ is Negrini’s reward for failure


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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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10 Responses to ‘Autocratic’ CEO took ‘bizarre decisions that make you weep’

  1. Marcus Rigby says:

    Has Negreedy not made comments in the past that there is no bullying in Croydon Council!
    Well Labour leadership, reap what you sow!!

  2. Moya Gordon says:

    This sounds like passing the buck for all Croydon council’s woes onto one person who is on their way out. By making Jo Negrini the fall guy, are they hoping that people will wipe the slate clean for the rest of the crew. I can’t believe one person alone could be responsible for all the bad decisions taken by an organisation the size of a Croydon Council.

    • Sebastian Tillinger says:

      You mean the CEO, who happened to make all the key council decisions and shaped its direction of travel?

      Name me one private company that’s thriving and has a bad CEO at its head? None- because the Chairman weeds them out.

      In this case, Tony Newman had the Chairman role and failed completely.

  3. Sebastian Tillinger says:

    A large part of this mess is down to personal decisions made by Tony Newman: Croydon residents should demand he resigns because of his incompetence.

  4. Billy James says:

    Hiya Tony Newman….

    It is easy to blame this imbecile Negreedy now she has gone…

  5. Imagine being a Croydon Labour councillor, party member or council officer, having to bow and scrape before Tony Newman, and then finding out that someone who was meant to report to him did whatever she liked and had to be paid over £400k to leave. You’d be thinking to yourself, if she could get away with taking no notice of him, why should I worry? Tony Newman’s position as leader is finished now. He’s all mouth and no trousers.

  6. Moya Gordon says:

    I don’t think the Labour Party can distance themselves from what’s happening at Croydon council. Why didn’t they speak up sooner and say they had no confidence in these people. Anyone aware of incompetence, corruption or intimidation being perpetrated by someone working in the public sector shoulders some responsibility too. By doing nothing to stop it they are consenting to it.

  7. Krist B says:

    It’s about who you know in the Council, not about how good your work is. Never changed and will always face the same problems. People only look after their own reputations and seem to forget that they have a job to serve the people of Croydon.
    Not surprised why there aren’t many BAME officers in high positions. New and fair leadership is desperately needed!

  8. So 10% budget disparity leads to a £1.5 bn pound debt?! Hmmmm. Not convinced that’s the reason.

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