The shortlist of companies vying to run the borough’s library services has been reduced to three after two competitors pulled out of the running.

Alongside Wandsworth Council, Croydon Council is working to find a partner to take control of its library service.

The original shortlist including LSSI, Civica, Essex County Council, Greenwich Leisure Trust and John Laing has been reduced to just three after both Civica, which manages libraries in Singapore as well as providing support services in Australia, and LSSI dropped out.

A statement from Civica, who pulled out of the race in April, stated: “Having undertaken an internal risk assessment and considering the potential risk to the Civica brand of taking on a contract which is outside their core competence, they felt they could not take that risk and must withdraw.”

LSSI, which run 17 public libraries in the USA, is understood to have also dropped out of the running this week.

Tenders of an inhouse service from Croydon Council and Wandsworth Council were ruled out of the process earlier.

The process is still underway but Croydon Council have been unable to confirm a timetable by which it will be completed.