07/01/2013 03:32 GMT | Updated 31/01/2013 06:57 GMT

Big Society 'Going Nowhere' David Cameron Told By Charities

Charity leaders have told David Cameron his 'Big Society' idea is going nowhere, with many charities facing crippling spending cuts and reforms coming too slowly.

Senior figures accused the Prime Minister of neglecting the idea, which was a central plank of his 2010 General Election campaign.

The message came in a letter penned by Sir Stephen Bubb, head of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, which represents around 2,000 charities.

"As Prime Minister, you described building a Big Society as your 'great passion' and 'central to my vision for our country'," he wrote.

"You spoke eloquently of your desire to reform public services, with a significantly greater role for charities."

However, Sir Stephen said the potential for charities to transform public services remained "largely untapped, with reforms in too many areas glacially slow".

"The mood music across Whitehall has been that reform is off the agenda. The reality many charities now face is crippling spending cuts," he went on.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Sir Stephen said: "There is huge frustration amongst charity leaders that these ideas about reforming public services don't seem to be going anywhere.

"David Cameron's vision of the Big Society is something we want and we want to help him achieve it," he said.