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A NEW body has been chosen to spearhead and co-ordinate Portsmouth’s voluntary and community groups.

Winchester-based Community Action Hampshire has won the contract from the city council. It will replace Community First for Portsmouth which, the authority said, did not bid.

The new service will be called Community Action in Portsmouth and will start on July 1.

Its role will be to co-ordinate voluntary groups and offer them business support. Louise Wilders, the head of the city’s community services, said: ‘The practical help they offer will be invaluable.’