John Laing Integrated Services bought out just weeks after taking control of Croydon libraries

Croydon Guardian: Thornton Heath library is among the 13 which Carillion will run Thornton Heath library is among the 13 which Carillion will run

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.”

Comments (3)

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9:11am Wed 23 Oct 13

Timothy Godfrey says...

Just not good enough. Another builder searching for profits from public services.

John Laing had already said that they were not going to go for more library contracts, yet Croydon Tories still went ahead and signed up with the builder of their luxury HQ: Laing.

Only a few months later, Laing sell on their Croydon contract to another builder.

Labour remains committed to ending this Library contract and rebuilding our public libraries in partnership with local communities.

Councillor Timothy Godfrey
Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Libraries
Just not good enough. Another builder searching for profits from public services. John Laing had already said that they were not going to go for more library contracts, yet Croydon Tories still went ahead and signed up with the builder of their luxury HQ: Laing. Only a few months later, Laing sell on their Croydon contract to another builder. Labour remains committed to ending this Library contract and rebuilding our public libraries in partnership with local communities. Councillor Timothy Godfrey Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Libraries Timothy Godfrey
  • Score: -1

10:38am Wed 23 Oct 13

Hove Ex-Pat says...

Carillion? How long before the libraries are full of pot holes?
Carillion? How long before the libraries are full of pot holes? Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 6

11:32am Wed 23 Oct 13

Elizabeth A says...

Another statement from another faceless spokesperson for the council "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."

Quite how the council could see this as a success story truly beggars belief.
Outsourced without a mandate, ignoring the outcome of the limited and confusing consultation conducted on just six of the 13 libraries. All this, after the library service was run down over a number of years - reducing opening hours, slashing staff numbers, re-branding of staff to cover up the loss of so many qualified librarians and experienced library staff, huge cull of book stock and IT equipment not fit for purpose.

Now sold on only a matter of weeks after JLIS took over. New IT put in that does not always work. Still problems with events not advertised or advertised with the wrong details, ongoing problems with loans, returns and reservations. I could go on.

Which particular part of this does Croydon Council think constitutes the excellent bit they keep referring to exactly?

Thoughts with all the library staff who really have been put through a protracted period of uncertainty and upheaval but continue to smile and do their best to provide a service in what are obviously terribly difficult circumstances.
Another statement from another faceless spokesperson for the council "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." Quite how the council could see this as a success story truly beggars belief. Outsourced without a mandate, ignoring the outcome of the limited and confusing consultation conducted on just six of the 13 libraries. All this, after the library service was run down over a number of years - reducing opening hours, slashing staff numbers, re-branding of staff to cover up the loss of so many qualified librarians and experienced library staff, huge cull of book stock and IT equipment not fit for purpose. Now sold on only a matter of weeks after JLIS took over. New IT put in that does not always work. Still problems with events not advertised or advertised with the wrong details, ongoing problems with loans, returns and reservations. I could go on. Which particular part of this does Croydon Council think constitutes the excellent bit they keep referring to exactly? Thoughts with all the library staff who really have been put through a protracted period of uncertainty and upheaval but continue to smile and do their best to provide a service in what are obviously terribly difficult circumstances. Elizabeth A
  • Score: 15

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