SCC Leader, Tim Oliver had quoted ‘Great to see Claire Coutinho already getting to work for her residents with real enthusiasm’ and after watching her Maiden Speech and meeting with her I could see exactly what he meant.
Costa Coffee in Caterham Valley was the ideal place for my recent meeting with our local (newly elected) Conservative MP for East Surrey, Claire Coutinho.
As a child Claire never wanted to be an MP but her interest for politics developed much later after starting her career within the finance world. It was only just over a year ago that she decided due to her frustration with parliament that she wanted to be a part of the front line.
When asked about the most pressing local issues, she conveyed that ‘roads’ were a big priority focus and that her first question in Parliament was to the Housing Secretary about better roads and buses for East Surrey. Having good infrastructure, GP Provision, rail and in particular tackling congestion are also topics on her agenda.
She spoke about the elderly and explained that she feels very strongly about loneliness and older aged people being looked after of which she is very supportive.
She will be moving to Surrey this month and is hoping to have her last pieces of furniture arrive within the next few weeks.
She is aware of the catastrophic situations caused to local residents by flooding and has visited local residents in Caterham on the Hill to talk about their experiences. She is happy with the extra money allocated in the Conservative manifesto for flooding and stressed that she will ensure that locally the funds are received while supporting and protecting local residents who have been affected.
High housing targets and the large number of new developments concern her and she has started pushing for infrastructure funding from the Housing Secretary which will in turn support local residents.
When asked about the NHS Claire explained that her primary focus in Healthcare is on GP provision and that she has requested a meeting with the CPG to further help her increase capacity within the local constituency.
Claire voted to withdraw from the European Union and locally she hopes to see more trade with growing economies across the world which will in turn positively affect local businesses.
Should she be lucky enough to have some free time, she explained to us that it would be filled with Surrey country walks. The Green Belt land its beauty are some of her main attractions to this part of Surrey.
She also enjoys reading, watching crime documentaries and cooking and most recently participated in ‘The Great Together’ where she cooked for 100 people from a budget of just £60 and also ‘Age UK’ where she made 50 canapes for £30!
I left her sipping her cup of coffee and reading her copy of ‘The Caterham and District Independent’. It was a pleasure to meet with her, we do appreciate her time and I look forward to our next meeting!
For those interested and if you would like to contact her Claire will be hosting surgeries on the morning of 7th February (Oxted) and 28th Februrary (location tbc)’ or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your local paper will be introducing a ‘Politics Corner’ and will be providing a platform for Claire on a monthly basis to address any Local and National concerns to the residents of East Surrey.