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Corbyn ‘determined to make youth provision statutory duty for local authorities’

The Labour leader and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott visited an activity centre for teenagers in West Yorkshire.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tries his hand at archery during a visit to Sunnyvale Fishery and Outdoor Activity Centre in Calderdale, West Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tries his hand at archery during a visit to Sunnyvale Fishery and Outdoor Activity Centre in Calderdale, West Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he is determined to make youth provision a statutory duty for local authorities as he tried his hand at archery at an activity centre for teenagers.

Mr Corbyn showed a marked improvement as he was shown how to use a bow at the Sunnyvale Fishery and Outdoor Activity Centre in Hipperholme, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, on Monday.

After half-a-dozen wayward efforts, the Leader of the Opposition managed a shot in the black ring and then quit while he was ahead after landing a shot in the red.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tries his hand at archery (Danny Lawson/PA)

He then moved on to the watersports area and talked to youngsters after donning a lifejacket and a helmet to sit in a canoe.

But he did not launch on to the lake.

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Jeremy Corbyn sat in a canoe but did not go out on the lake (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Corbyn, who was visiting with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and Halifax MP Holly Lynch, said he was impressed with the centre, which is open to children across the the district and aims to provide an alternative path for youngsters from a life of criminal offending.

After speaking to a number of children using a climbing wall, he said: “They’re all telling me how they benefit from it.”

Mr Corbyn said: “This, of course, is in a background where there’s been a 70% cut in youth service provision in the past nine years – £800 million taken out of a youth services.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott chatted to youngsters using a climbing wall (Danny Lawson/PA)

“And, not very surprisingly, there’s been an increase in youth crime and youth violence.

“So we do, as a country, have to invest in young people. That means youth services, that means youth workers.

“I think we should make youth provision a statutory requirement on all local authorities and I’m determined to do that.”

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