BARNSLEY Council is coming up with a raft of suggestions to keep Barnsley's housing stock to a decent standard amid swathing budget cuts.

Councillors on the Physical Sustainability Scrutiny Commission have been looking into the issue for the last few weeks after fears from residents that upkeep to both council and privately rented houses could not be upkept in a recession

Spokesman Coun Graham Kyte said: “What has become very clear is that people are very concerned about what might happen if funding is cut and the budgets for repairs and maintenance are significantly reduced. A lot of people in Barnsley have benefited in recent years because of the excellent work which has taken place to bring council housing up to the Decent Homes Standard. This has had important benefits in terms of helping to keep people healthy and sustaining our communities. It is really important that we don’t go backwards on this."

He admits though, there may be more work needed for the privately rented sector - which many locals rely on as they can't afford to buy and they cannot get a social housing tenancy.

He added: “There are a lot of good landlords in the borough providing top quality well maintained accommodation for Barnsley people, but there are a small minority who do not and who need to be brought into line. We welcome the efforts to expand the Barnsley Accreditation Scheme which aims to improve both management standards and housing conditions in the private rented sector."

Do you think improvements could be made to the council's repair policies? Do you think private rented housing in Barnsley is up to scratch? Share your stories by writing in the comment box below.