Our Town Hall editor KEN LEE has been crunching some eye-watering numbers from Croydon’s bankrupt council
When Jo “Negreedy” Negrini quit as the council’s chief executive in September 2020, with Croydon hurtling towards bankruptcy, she left with a total of £613,895 – a figure that made her the top-paid local government official in the country that year.
The figures included her obscene £437,000 pay-off authorised by Labour councillors Tony Newman and Simon Hall.
What was not available, until now, was the data that shows Negreedy also made away with the thick-end of a full year’s salary and pension contributions.
The figures were released today by the Tax Payers Alliance.
The breakdown of the pay-off figures has raised, yet again, serious questions about how Croydon Council has been managed in the past six years or so, since Negrini was promoted to the top job.
In total, Negrini received
That was made up of salary
Plus her pension
Plus her pay-off totalling
That figure was made up of “loss of office compensation” of
and something referred to as “pension strain” of
These figures appear to show that, after working for just five of that financial year’s 12 months, Negrini had close to a full year’s salary and pension of £176,688 paid up.
The council’s political leadership at the time refused to discuss the pay-off, even with fellow Labour councillors, with the discredited leader, Newman, describing as “sickening” that anyone might consider opposing Negrini receiving her gold-plated pension.
This was at a time when the Labour-controlled council was making hundreds of frontline workers redundant.
The pay-out to Negrini has been roundly condemned by Croydon South’s Tory MP, Chris Philp. “This is further evidence of the shocking way that Labour in Croydon wasted huge amounts of money to try to cover up their own incompetence.
“Negrini should have been fired with no compensation, not paid off with bucketloads of residents’ hard-earned money.
“This is money that could – and should – have been used fixing mouldy council flats and protecting the vulnerable from savage Labour cuts to Council Tax benefit. I think residents will say to Labour they’ve had enough of their waste and incompetence on May 5.”
Croydon’s two other MPs, Steve Reed OBE and Sarah Jones, have remained silent for almost two years about Negreedy’s golden pay-off.
There is another costly irony in the figures, which the TPA has obtained from the council’s 2020-2021 accounts – the year of the catastrophic covid lockdown.
The council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, have so far refused to sign-off on these accounts over the matter of a possibly “misappropriated” £73million from the supposedly ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account, which has somehow been spent on other areas that ought to be covered by the council’s general fund.
Croydon Council has effectively been under Whitehall control since early 2021, and needed a record £120million bail-out over the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 financial years to be able to re-balance its budgets.
Read more: £400,000 ‘golden handshake’ is Negrini’s reward for failure
Read more: Newman’s ‘sickening’ defence of Negrini’s £400,000+ pay-off
Read more: CEO Negrini’s long campaign to shut down Inside Croydon
Read more: Negrini lands cushty consultancy with ex-council supplier
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