I'M a big believer in families having the right to bring up their children and conduct their own affairs in a manner they see fit, without being unnecessarily criminalised by the government.

However, this week the Welsh Labour Government’s ban on the smacking of children came a step closer after they published a bill removing "reasonable punishment" as a defence.

If passed, it will be made law and children will have the same protection from physical punishment as adults.

It would mean a parent or guardian could not use the defence if accused of assault or battery against a child.

In my view the state should not be getting involved in such matters.

There are laws already in place to protect the most vulnerable members of society from violent or psychological harm but this is another piece of legislation from Welsh Labour which will be nigh on impossible to enforce.

Parenting is best to left to parents, not the state and instead of wasting their time seeking to criminalise parents, the Welsh Labour Government should focus its attention on turning schools around and giving our young people the life chances they truly deserve.

Readers of the Barry and District News will also appreciate my ongoing frustration with the Welsh Labour Government regarding the Barry Incinerator debacle, which could have a knock-on effect for residents nearby in Barry, Hayes Point, Sully and Penarth.

Yesterday, I again questioned the Minister responsible in the Assembly on when a decision is likely on an environmental impact assessment and once again I received nothing.

I’m absolutely dumbfounded by the Welsh Government’s inability to make a decision on this matter – it’s been 13 months and counting and the residents of Barry and beyond have been badly let down.

The way it has been handled is one bad joke and is another example of the incompetence at the heart of the Labour administration.

They can interfere and stop you from being a parent but they can’t make a decision on an incinerator or 14 miles of tarmac for an M4 relief road!

If it wasn't so sad it might be funny but this is having a detrimental on the lives of my constituents on a regular basis.

Ministers need to get a grip and sort this out once for all – or they should leave office and give the responsibility to someone who can.

They must stop stalling, make a decision and get on with delivering the assurances local residents rightly demand.