THERE is so much at stake in this election, and in Stroud, one of the UK’s most marginal seats, your vote matters.

Voters here have a stark choice - on the one hand a chance to end the Brexit nightmare, protect the NHS and deliver properly funded social care, and act on the climate crisis.

On the other - a disastrous Brexit deal, our NHS in Trump’s clutches, and woeful inaction on our environment.

This is a two-horse race, as all polls show.

It’s a choice between a Conservative who does not live here and treats Stroud constituency as a career move, or the Labour and Co-operative Party’s inspirational programme for social renewal, a Green New Deal and your say on Brexit. For me, being an MP is about being your voice.

Since 2017, I’ve spoken in 400 debates in Parliament, including holding a special debate on the woeful state of funding for Gloucestershire schools. I’ve questioned ministers 700 times and succeeded in tightening up air quality regulations of incinerator emissions – although these are still not enough.

I’ve backed the Waspi campaign for pension justice, with 600 of you attending our meeting last year and am pleased Labour is committed to pension compensation.

It’s also clear how much needs to be done with my caseworkers supporting over 2,000 families here.

Many have told us how austerity has torn their lives apart – from a man with terminal illness being pronounced ‘fit for work’, to a husband and wife separated after 40 years because they could not secure the care they need.

For me, politics is about people. Stroud isn’t a parliamentary seat to be used to further a political career – it is our home.

I’ve lived here nearly 40 years, taught at Maidenhill School, am a devoted Forest Green Rovers fan, helped set up the foodbank and work with many local charities.

When, in 1997, Stroud voters elected me, they voted for the first Labour MP here since 1945.

Since then Stroud has continued to lead the way, with our manufacturing expertise or forward-thinking environmental campaigns. Like the people here, I too am independent-minded and stand up for what I believe - opposing the Iraq War, for instance. People here deserve to be represented by someone who understands that where Stroud leads, others follow.

Let’s continue to lead the way together to a brighter, more inclusive future, for us and for our planet.