I RECENTLY raised two issues that have caused me great concern in the National Assembly.

The first is the cost of fly tipping to councils in South East Wales.

Official figures show that South East Wales councils spent more than £435,000 in 2015/2016 clearing illegally dumped rubbish.

Newport Council alone spent more than £120,000 clearing fly-tipped items, increasing the burden on hard pressed council taxpayers.

Fly-tipping is anti-social behaviour and the Welsh Government must ensure local authorities have a coherent strategy to combat it in Wales.

I also raised concerns about the state of council owned roads in Wales.

A recent report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance has highlighted the shocking state of council owned roads in Wales claiming it would cost nearly £600 million and take nine years to get them into a reasonable condition.

It went on to say the average time before a road was resurfaced in Wales was 63 years compared to 55 years in England.

I raised this matter with the Welsh Government to find out what discussions they have had with the Welsh Local Government Association about addressing this problem and what action they intend to take to improve the sorry state of roads in Wales.

In my role as Welsh Conservative shadow secretary for skills, I recently criticised the Welsh Government’s engagement with businesses following a report on the apprenticeship levy by the National Assembly’s economy, infrastructure and skills committee.

Around 700 Welsh employers will be affected by the introduction of the UK-wide levy this month and the committee has described the Welsh Government’s engagement as “patchy” leaving employers confused.

In my opinion the report points out the significant failure by the Welsh Government to engage with businesses across Wales on the impact of the apprenticeship levy.

The failure to engage in a constructive fashion with the lifeblood of our economy on this levy places at risk the very intentions of the policy which are to reinvest in improved apprenticeship training.

The funding deal agreed by the UK Conservative Government and Welsh Government provides Wales with around £130 million in the first year alone and should have put funding on a more sustainable footing so more and better quality apprenticeships could be created.