The contractor hired to run Croydon's libraries has been bought out by another firm just weeks after taking control.

John Laing Integrated Services (JLIS), which began an eight-year contract to run the borough's 13 libraries three weeks ago, was taken over by facilities management company Carillion on Friday.

It means Wolverhampton-based Carillion will take charge of JLIS's 1,500 staff, including Croydon's library staff.

A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "We're in dialogue with Carillion to work through the implications of this announcement.

"Carillion has plenty of experience working with local authorities and our current expectation is that it is business as usual.

"Our priority is to see the continuing success of the new library contract and to ensure the borough’s continued ability to provide an excellent library service for the benefit of the community."

JLIS took the reins of Croydon's library service on October 1.

The company was chosen as the preferred bidder in May and signed a contract in July following a protracted tendering process.

But Adrian Ewer, chief executive of John Laing, said running libraries, as well as its intergrated services division's other projects, no longer fitted its core strategy.

He added: "We are confident that under its new ownership, the business will see future growth within the public sector and benefit from being a part of an integrated support services company.”