RESIDENTS' health will be monitored by a new board set up to protect against diseases such as meningitis, measles and hepatitis.

The Health Protection Assurance Board will ensure there are appropriate measures in place in case of an outbreak.

Sharon Stoltz, the acting director of Public Health, said: "The board will be responsible for ensuring Barnsley residents are protected from diseases.

"We need to try and take steps to prevent that spread of disease in the population. You can't prevent all disease, but if you were to see there was a trend, the board would be responsible for examining that and understand what's causing it."

An annual report will be published, possibly in September.