Letter from the Editor February 2022

Welcome to the February 2022 edition of the Caterham and District Independent!

It feels like such a long time since I last wrote to you, and I suppose it is, really. My team and I made the big decision at the beginning of December not to publish a paper in January: it had been a long and hectic year and we decided that we needed to take the pressure off for a while. As you know, we have printed a paper every month since our launch in December 2019, so it was strange to not have the pressure of a deadline looming over us as we got closer to what would have been our printing date. But, we all needed a break and it was just lovely to spend proper, quality time with our families over Christmas, without rushing off to make phone calls, chase advertisers or proof articles!

And so, well rested (and very well fed!) we're back, and REALLY excited about what's to come in 2022. Why, you ask? Well, it's because, after two years at the helm of your favourite local newspaper, we're making a few changes. You may have seen us promoting the Oxted Independent over the last couple of months and, up until Christmas, starting that second newspaper had been our plan. Unfortunately, sharply rising costs across many industries has left us unable to risk taking on the financial commitment of producing two papers at the current time. But, an emergency new year team meeting to discuss what we could do instead led us back to another idea we’d been bouncing around for a while.

Our remit has always been to cover as much of Tandridge as we can, and we feel the name of the paper should reflect that. So, from our March edition, we are rebranding as the Tandridge Independent!

There will be a few changes to the content, and the layout, too, as we focus on making our new paper the best it can be. We're a small team, and we all have young children, so we have to be realistic about what we can do instantly, but I have a clear vision of where we are headed, and no doubt that we will achieve it! If you would like to find out more about the new paper, please come along to our community meeting at Soper Hall, on Wednesday 16 February at 20:00.

And we have an appeal for you! If you live in a town or village within Tandridge, we want to hear from you. Do you have a story that our readers would be interested in? Are you taking on a challenge, doing something amazing or making life better for your community? Is there an issue that you feel we should be reporting on? We'd also love to hear what else you would like to see in the paper: contact us on newsdesk@tandridgeindependent.com and let us know!

And if you're a business owner, who would like to be seen by potential customers across the whole district, please get in touch on advertising@tandridgeindependent.com to find out what we can offer you across the paper and our social media channels.

 Before we move forward to the Tandridge Independent, let's get back to this last edition of the Caterham Independent. This month, we are saying goodbye to our regular columnists The Girl Who Gardens and chef Tim Fisher. We've loved Renée's colourful, cheerful articles, and Tim's delicious recipes, but it's time for them to move on to new projects. We wish them all the best: thank you for sharing our first two years with us!

While we will definitely miss our departing columnists, we are pleased to introduce some brand new additions this month: ex-professional footballer Nicky Forster, education experts Sue and Maryann from Tutor Your Child, and Emily Davies, who will be covering both social media and agriculture (has any newspaper ever had that combination before? We doubt it!). We're also delighted to have 11-year-old River-Blue join us with his cooking column, River’s Kitchen: we can't wait to see what tasty creations he brings us. Welcome everybody  – we're excited to have you on board!

Next month will also bring another new feature: ‘Focus on…’, where we will take an in-depth look at one of the many towns and villages in the district, starting with the village of Tandridge itself. So, if you’re a resident of this pretty little area, let us know what your favourite aspect of Tandridge life is, by emailing Rosalind@caterhamindependent.com.

I think I've given you enough to digest for now. Thank you, as always, to our advertisers, readers and listeners! We are extremely proud to not only be your favourite friendly community newspaper but also to continue to be your platform for local news.

I hope to see lots of you at our Soper Hall meeting on 16 February but, if you can’t make it, be sure to pick up your brand new Tandridge Independent in March, and I’ll see you back here!



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