March 31, 2010

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David Cameron has said that a Conservative government would train a 5,000-strong “neighbourhood army” to set up community groups.

The Tory leader said in a speech this offered a “positive alternative to Labour’s big government” approach.

But the BBC has learned it will be paid for with money from an existing scheme which supports voluntary organisations.

Meanwhile, Labour is promising communities more powers to take over the running of local services.

The parties are attempting to take control of the “localist” agenda ahead of the general election, which is likely to be held on 6 May.

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