In what could be described as a homage to Bridget Jones the outspoken chief executive of Croydon Council writes in a blog on The Architects’ Journal web site about booze, fat cats and feminism.

Jo Negrini attended the annual MIPIM property event in Cannes, France, with fellow directors Shifa Mustafa and Heather Cheesbrough at a cost to the taxpayer of £14,488. They manned a beachfront stall promoting Croydon’s ‘Urban Edge’ in a bid to lure investors to the borough. Here she writes about the experience.

MONDAY MARCH 12                               3:12pm Jo Negrini writes…

“In Cannes. Again. For some, MIPIM is a total junket, predicated on the view that all investment is bad for the city and that people who attend it spend their days drinking wine with their mates and their evenings with Russian oligarchs or other parasites at President’s Club-style events.

“Yes, there is that side of MIPIM. But you can get that side of things in all environments where you mix men, booze and fat expense accounts. London is awash with these types of opportunities. You don’t need to go the south of France for it.

“Over the time I have been coming to MIPIM, there are more women involved (and the majority of men) who are coming for the same reason I am – to meet as many people and companies as possible to have a choice about who invests in their area.

“The alternative would be to sit in the office and wait for the next half-baked planning application from some dodgy fly-by-night investor who wants to get a consent and then flip it for the highest price. It’s about building relationships with the people you want to work with in your borough – the ones that help you deliver the type of development you want.

“Ah yes, I should have said that these views are my own, I am a woman and I don’t have an expense account.”