Ex-council CEO Negrini’s company finds business a struggle

Tough times for Jo Negrini, who is encountering her very own cost of living crisis.

Hard times: in her first year in private business, Jo Negrini enjoyed a sweetheart deal from a former council contractor

The chief exec who did so much to bankrupt the council, leading to hundreds of jobs being axed, dozens of public services cut and grants to the borough’s most needy withdrawn, is having to get by on a mere pittance of £60,000 – less than one-tenth of what she made in her final year at Croydon.

Expect a tear-jerking GoFundMe page to be launched any day soon…

It is two years to the week since Negrini left the council’s offices for a final time, helped on her way by £613,000 in salary, pensions and a golden handshake that was never properly authorised.

Now, for the first time, Negrini has published the annual accounts of her new venture which she set up as she took her first steps in the cruel commercial world outside the cosy and cosseted civic existence she had enjoyed for most of her working life, up until her parting of the ways from Croydon.

According to official records published with Companies House, in the first year of trading at the head of a private business, Negrini made just £77,520 – about one-third of the gilt-edged, public-funded annual salary and pension package she used to enjoy when lording it over council staff in Fisher’s Folly.

And out of that 77 grand, Negrini’s having to fork out more than £16,000 in “liabilities”.

Negrini registered Total Place Ltd as her own company on October 21, 2020, from a private address in East Dulwich. In her official submissions, Negrini listed herself as managing director, and Jill Walsh as director.

As Inside Croydon reported previously, soon after she branched out on her own, Negrini, the self-acclaimed “regeneration practitioner”, landed a juicy consultancy deal at Arup. Arup just happened to be one of the firms she favoured so lavishly when she was frittering tax-payers’ money from the executive floors at Fisher’s Folly.

Arup, the giant engineering and planning specialists, took Negrini on as a “cities and development consultant”.

It cannot be known with any certainty, because the accounts published by Negrini’s Total Fuck-up Ltd are very limited. They tell us that the company has two employees – probably Negrini and Walsh. Turnover and cash in bank are not revealed.

Stark contrast: how the national press followed up Inside Croydon’s coverage, comparing Negrini’s pay-out to the axing of meals on wheels

The £77,520 in assets are very likely consultancy fees received by Negrini. The £16,690 liabilities listed might very well be the wages paid to the second employee, or accountants for managing the business or preparing the books.

Either way, it is unlikely to leave Negreedy in financially strickened circumstances for very long, what with her gold-plated Croydon pay-off to fall back on.

The circumstances of Negrini’s somewhat rushed departure two years ago are worth recalling…

With the council in the middle of the twin crises of covid and its impending financial collapse, Negrini had been idling away on holiday when an emergency meeting of senior councillors was called just before the August bank holiday in 2020.

Chaired by Tony Newman, the now discredited Labour group leader who had promoted the under-qualified Negrini to the council’s top job four years earlier, the meeting’s attendees soon discovered that they were being expected to agree to lavish the best part of half-a-million pounds on an exit package for a chief executive who had presided over some of the most egregious breakdowns in governance ever to be seen at a local authority in this country.

“Collective corporate blindness” was the withering phrase used by the council’s external auditors in a special report that was published a little more than a month after the crucial Negrini meeting.

Easy money: Tony Newman was an expert in spending other people’s cash

The Times would later describe the “culture of profligacy” at Croydon Council under Negrini (Hon FRIBA, remember…) that “far predates the pandemic and cannot be explained away by austerity or the area’s high demand for social care”.

The company accounts for Total Fuck-up Ltd are for the period up to October 2021. If Arup’s sympathy gig for old times’ sake is the only consultancy Negrini had managed to secure in her first year’s business, that might suggest that executives in other businesses have wised up to the “skills” and “insight” that the former Croydon, Lambeth and Newham council executive has accrued in her career.

The baristas of fashionable East Dulwich could soon notice a marked drop-off in demand for their fabulous skinny lattes…

Read more: Newman and Negrini’s pay-off: no papers, no notes, no reasons
Read more: CEO Negrini’s long campaign to shut down Inside Croydon
Read more: Watchdog suggests Negrini’s pay-off may have been unlawful
Read more: The bottom line on the failure of ex-CEO Negrini: £613,895
Read more: CEO of loss-making Brick by Brick gets cosy job with architects

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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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7 Responses to Ex-council CEO Negrini’s company finds business a struggle

  1. Strange she opted for East Dulwich instead of Croydon, the town she claims she resurrected (into an aticsocial dump), LOL.

  2. Lewis White says:

    I am thinking of the very large number of Croydon staff being paid around £30k a year (or less) — who will have been paid a fraction of Jo N’s £600 k golden farewell (plus a pension??) — who were MADE REDUNDANT, some of whom will now be UNEMPLOYED, and whose savings will have been wiped out as result, plus the SEVERELY WEAKENED Council and DEPLETED Council services left as a result of the Council’s financial crisis, which came to total collapse partly as a result of JN’s part in its mis-management.

    Past UK Governments of all political colours abolished important controls on conduct of people at all levels in local goverment (Audit Commission, District Auditor, Standards Board for England and Wales) .

    The same governments are also to blame for stopping Councils from having open and fully accountable development activities, which forced them to adopt the (we now know to be unaccountable) “arms length” company approach of the Brick by Brick kind.

    And not forgetting the effect on the services provided by Croydon and other councils as a result of year on year cuts by central Government on Local Authority spending.

    And it is probably going to get worse.

    • The last time we checked (when Negrini was handing out redundancy notices like confetti at the beginning of 2020, before she was forced to admit what a monumental fuck-up she had made of the council’s finances), the average salary of a Croydon Council worker was £22,000 per year – a little more than Negrini, with pension pot and other benefits, was being paid per month.

      Negrini was then one of around a dozen execs at Croydon Council on salaries of £150,000 or more per year.

  3. derekthrower says:

    Looks like another Negreedy enterprise about to enter it’s inevitable winding up process.

  4. Lancaster says:

    I am sure if Jo Negrini had stuck to laying pavements, as she did when she first came to the Council, she could have doubled her salary this past year. She seemed capable of pavements. Or were the pavements a legacy project of her predecessor before she was employed as director of planning?

    When Jo Negrini was appointed as CEO, she organised an away day for all council managers at Croydon Aerodrome Hotel.

    Tony Newman gave a 5min speech, the same one he gave every year, then fucked off straight away, as usual.

    Jo Negrini’s opening 30min speech was not about her vision for change for the council; but how proud she was to be part of the LGBT community. Nothing about what she planned to do, or how she could help the council’s management team.

  5. Susan Mortimer says:

    Why is Kerswell not releasing the report into the collapse ofthe council’s finances?

    Residents should demand she goes. She is fucking useless on many operational levels.

    • Valid question because we are dealing with the public’s hard earnt money here. These kind of cover up corrupt practices are commonplace in Italy and Croatia, but for the UK this is completely astonishing. I’d like to add we live in a democracy where everything should be transparent, however the less ppl trust Croydon Council the worse things will inevitably become. With the amount of strikes going on in the UK, it wouldn’t surprise me if people eventually refuse to pay their Croydon Council Tax tbh. Croydon rates are amongst the highest in London and at some point, something has got to give,

      As for your question.
      – Perhaps Kerswell is trying to recover the money owed without having to name and shame
      – Once that report is released (never will imo) those people who were caught stealing are going to be front page news and basically finished and never going to be employable.
      -Perhaps Kerswell’s friends, best acquaintances or herself were involved in the fraud and she is burning records as we speak.

      Like I said no options should be ruled out. Changing a single lightbulb in a toilet cubicle at Fairfield Halls should not cost £2000 Afterall 😉

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