Thank you so much for coming here today and thank you for what you do every day. I talk about the Big Society; you are the Big Society. It“s great to have the chance to speak to you at this important time in the election campaign. I have to tell you, I feel right at home here. I've just been with Boris who I think some of you know. And isn't it great that Boris has backed your campaigns on the Living Wage and on City Safe? He's a great mayor and those are great campaigns and you deserve credit for what you did to drive them.

Just a few weeks ago, I spent some time with Matthew Bolton and Neil Jameson, they took me to the Ocean Estate in the East End and I had the chance to hear some of you talk about your work. And I'm so pleased to have done that because it's given me the most fantastic argument. You see, I now know what to say to the cynics and the doubters and the smart alecs who say to me, “There is no appetite for people in this country to get involved in social action, there's no commitment to the common good any more, it's each to his own.“ There's no spirit of non-state collective action, it's just me and the government not we and my community. What rubbish that is and now I say to those people come here, look around you. Here is the appetite. Here is the commitment. Here is the spirit of social action that this country needs. This is the Big Society right here in this room so don't let anyone tell me we can't build the Big Society right across our country. You are doing it. We will encourage you.

We can build the Big Society because we know that in the end, people want change for the better and they know they don“t get that just from the Government. Does anyone think we're going to tackle poverty and make our society fairer just through more tax credits and government schemes? Does anyone think we're going to fight crime and make our communities safer just through more laws and initiatives from the Home Office? Does anyone think we're going to reduce our carbon emissions and shape a green future just by issuing edicts from on high for people and companies to change their behaviour? Does anyone think we're going to improve school standards and make opportunity more equal just through more targets and directives from the Department of Children, Schools and Families? Of course not.

We will only achieve those progressive aims of a fairer, safer, greener, society where opportunity is more equal if we understand that we are all in this together. Not just the individual. Not just the state. But we, the people, working together. Real change doesn“t just come from government passing laws and telling people what to do. Real change happens when people come together, listen to each other, and work to make life better.

So no, we will not change this country“s destiny with sixty people at the top pulling a few strings. But yes, we will create a better future if sixty million citizens play their part. This is the Big Society. It“s not a slogan. It“s a blueprint for change. Less state control, more social responsibility. Less bureaucracy, more community. Less politician power, more people power.

Of course, the Big Society doesn“t mean government doing nothing. So while we've been clear in this election campaign that we hope people will respond to our invitation to help change this country in the final days before polling day we are setting out our side of the bargain. The things that we will do to help move Britain forward. It's our contract with the voters. We're publishing it now so that everyone can hold us to account. If we don't do the things we say we'll do, vote us out in five years' time. So what is our contract for the Big Society - our contract with you?

Well, here are some of the most important commitments. We will throw open public services and invite charities, faith groups and neighbourhood groups to set up schools, to run welfare services, to help rehabilitate offenders. We will push power out to communities by giving them control over policing, energy, housing and planning. We will make government more open, local and accountable, by publishing public spending and contracts with suppliers online.

In fact, your ideas are right at the heart of our manifesto. Funding for a new generation of community organisers. A Big Society Bank to provide start-up capital for charities and social enterprises may of which are represented in this room. Extra grants directed at neighbourhood groups in the poorest areas. All these things will happen with a Conservative government. That's our contract with you.

And I just want to say something else too. I want you to know that for me the work you do and the commitment you give is not just an important part of our agenda for changing this country. In many ways, it is our agenda. Let me explain why. What's the biggest problem our economy faces? It's the massive debts we have, which are going to have to be repaid. As everyone knows, that means cuts in public spending. But long-term, you're never really going to be able to cut the amount of public spending unless you cut the demand for public spending unless you tackle the social problems which are often the reason that demand for public spending rises. We won't get the economy moving unless we deal with the terrible poverty that so many people still live in today unless we deal with the generational unemployment, the welfare dependency, the debt, addiction, family breakdown the linked problems of deprivation and inequality that are the costs of social failure. So we won't solve our economic problems unless we solve our social problems.

And that applies just as much to the other big issue in this election: the massive breakdown of trust in our political system. The collapse of faith in our politics may have come to light because of the expenses scandal - but it wasn't caused by it. It was caused by this terrible sense of powerlessness that people have. That decisions about their lives are taken at a distance; that there's little or nothing they can do to shape their world. That's what we've got to change; we've got to take power out of the hands of politicians and put it in the hands of people. If people are given responsibility, they behave responsibly. So if we give people more political power, I believe that will create a country with a greater sense of social responsibility. And if we achieve that, we will in turn increase faith in our political system. So again, we must not see social action and the Big Society as separate from our great economic challenges, our pressing political challenges. They are all connected and you have a part to play in changing our economy and our politics as well as our society.

Now I know you have some specific questions you want me to address, so let me do that as directly as I can. First, your challenge to introduce a one-off “earned regularisation“ for long-term irregular immigrants. In other words, an amnesty. We have been very clear that we don“t agree with this. Yes, immigration has enriched our country and our culture, and we will always welcome new immigrants and take care of people seeking asylum. But all the evidence from abroad, from countries like Spain, Italy and the United States, shows that amnesties only encourage more illegal immigration. That would put a lot more pressure on our public services, which is why we believe it would not be a responsible thing to do.

But we do agree with you on affordable credit for local communities. At the London Citizens Autumn Assembly last year, Greg Hands, our Shadow Treasury Minister, announced that a Conservative Government would impose a cap on excessive store card rates to protect consumers. And we will go much further. We will force credit cards to provide much clearer information to consumers impose a levy on financial services to create Britain“s first free Financial Advice Service and introduce new measures to ensure no one will ever again lose their home to pay unsecured debts of less than £25,000.

Next you“ve asked for a living wage in the public sector. As you know, I think this is a good and attractive idea. Government, after all, is the biggest employer in the country. Where it leads, others will follow, and fairness could begin to be hard-wired into pay scales up and down the country. It was Boris Johnson who implemented the living wage right throughout the Greater London Authority. And if we win the election, we are committed to setting up a fair pay review. This will investigate pay inequality in the public sector with a specific remit to look how to introduce a pay multiple so that no public sector worker can earn over 20 times more than the lowest paid person in their organisation. And our fair pay review will also look at options for a living wage.

Your next challenge is to restore sanctuary and end child detention. I absolutely share your concerns on this. We want people “ especially children “ who flee persecution abroad to feel safe and welcome in Britain. We will actively look at this issue and see how we can change things. It is not acceptable what happens now, not acceptable at all and I will make sure Citizens UK is invited to join that process.

Finally there“s your challenge to government to facilitate affordable owner-occupied housing through community land trusts. So here we have a very clear commitment. Grant Shapps, our Shadow Housing Minister, is here today. He has worked hand in hand with Citizens UK to develop a radical policy to give communities the chance to own the land around them “ and it“s in there in the pages of our manifesto. We want to see community land trusts across the country “ making home ownership more affordable and more fairly distributed. It makes sense, and it will happen under a Conservative government. I think the Olympics gives us a big opportunity to do this in East London and this is something Hugh Robertson has already discussed with you. The Government have not done enough to make local people feel they have ownership over the Olympics legacy. We say what better way to do that than by giving communities a role in running the site or perhaps even exploring how we could create community ownership of some of the Olympics site itself? This would ensure that the site not only hosts a successful Olympics, but a successful and lasting community too. This is something that Hugh Robertson, our shadow Olympics minister, has already discussed in a meeting with Citizens UK.

If we win the election, I want to work with you on these and many other issues. I need you to help me build the Big Society. So yes, if I am Prime Minister I will meet with a delegation of Citizens UK once a year. And yes, I will attend at least two of your National Assemblies over the course of the next Parliament. You“re here to stay. I want to work with you. But frankly I hope that we will see a lot more of each other than that. Together, we can change this country “ and I don“t know about you, but I can“t wait to get started.

So my message to all of you is straightforward. If we win that election on Thursday, you the civil society organisations will be in power Friday. You will be in power because you'll have a government that wants to back you, not boss you around. You'll be in power because you'll have a government that understands you, that values you, that will give you much more control and responsibility. You'll be in power because the idea which drives you and that drives me - the idea of building a Big Society - will be marching down the corridors of Whitehall. So I want you to come with me and help change this country. We have faith that this nation is not just a bunch of selfish individuals. We have the desire to live in community together. We have the chance to build a bigger, a stronger society together and with your help, I know it can be done. Thank you.