On May 6 voters will choose their preferred candidates for Stroud District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and parish councils (if contested). We asked each party fielding multiple candidates to write why residents should vote for them.

Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson has presided over a coronavirus catastrophe that has left over 127,000 people dead, the highest number in Europe. There is anger at this and 10 years of Tory cuts and privatisation to health, education, youth services, libraries, women’s refuges, child care facilities, day centres for the elderly and more.

That is why despite the lockdowns there have been many movements and protests: Black Lives Matter, NHS workers fighting for a pay rise, the struggle to end violence against women, defending the right to protest, and more. TUSC candidates have participated in all.

These movements have made an impact but there is no mass party that has the programme and organisation to offer a political voice in opposition to the injustices and inequalities, including class inequality, of capitalist society.

Labour under Corbyn remained 'two parties in one', a pro-capitalist party, and a potential anti-austerity party based on Corbyn's supporters. But that era is now over with Starmer's takeover.

The building of a new mass workers' party remains an urgent task. TUSC candidates are committed to voting against all cuts. And that requires a programme to fund the needs of the community.

TUSC candidates have pledged to support councils initially using their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid making cuts. But we argue that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defend and improve council services is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demand that government funding makes up the shortfall.

TUSC candidates are committed to using any elected position to build a mass, united struggle for that government funding. That includes support for all workers' struggles against government policies which make ordinary people pay for the crisis; and the fight for a united working-class struggle against racism and all forms of oppression.

The Covid pandemic has laid bare the class character, inequalities and chaos of the profit based capitalist system.

We need an end to austerity, which is a direct wealth transfer from the working class and poorest to the richest through cuts to jobs, services and benefits.

Instead of handouts to the bosses, we call for the major firms and banks that dominate the economy to be brought into democratic public ownership.

Production and services could then be planned by workers to meet the needs of all. This is socialism.