A SERIOUSLY slimmed-down council for Burnley is on the horizon once cuts worth £3m come into play, town hall bosses have warned.

Council functions could be ‘out-sourced’ to the private sector and job losses have not been ruled out as the authority ‘makes difficult choices’ before 2016/17.

Nearly a fifth, or £3m, must be trimmed from the council’s budget over the next two to three years, on top of the £1.75m made this year.

Coun Mark Townsend, resources executive member, said: “The council is expecting austerity measures to continue for the foreseeable future, and difficult choices are inevitable.

“The executive doesn’t think these government reductions are fair, and we will continue to lobby for better funding deal for council services in Burnley and Lancashire.

“At the same time, we have to plan ahead responsibly and change things in good time, so that we carry on delivering services for people and businesses, and acting in line with our commitment and ambition for the borough.”

The borough council is set to recruit a ‘procurement partner’, but would not disclose how much the company would be paid. Staff are said to have been briefed on the plans - as part of a new ‘Change Programme’ – which could see services stopp-ed, or outside agencies take responsibility for municipal work.

Helen Seechurn, the council’s resources director, said staff would be regularly briefed and consulted, and residents would get the chance to have their say.