It’s been a difficult month in national politics.
I understand how people are feeling about the reports in the news. I know the sacrifices many of us endured for the benefit of our neighbours, friends and wider society, and I thank you again for all you have done.
If you’d like to provide me with your thoughts, my inbox is always open for you to do so at firstname.lastname@example.org: I will feed in your views to colleagues in the government.
Once 2021 was over, I decided to write an Annual Review to explain what I worked on during my second year in the job. If you’d like to read it, please visit my website at clairecoutinho.com and click ‘Annual Review 2021’.
We’ve been through many challenges since 2020 – some of which remain with us – while others are still to come. At the moment, I am doing a lot of work with the Treasury on the price of energy, recognising the pressure this is putting on families across the country and listening to people’s concerns.
But all in all, if I reflect on the past two years as your Member of Parliament, I am incredibly proud of this country, its people and what we’ve achieved together. I think we should take a moment to marvel at the ingenuity and determination we’ve seen, whether in the outstanding work of scientists and clinicians on vaccines, the economic comeback spurred on by the perseverance of our businesses, or the enormous progress that we’ve made on the environment here at home and internationally.
When I was first elected, I said that my main priority as your MP was to be as accessible and open as possible. I want you to know – despite the heightened threat towards MPs – I am as committed to that pledge as I was two years ago.
Many of you will know my priorities in this job: improving our local roads, getting our train services back on track, supporting our local economy, preserving our environmental treasure chest…to name just a few. Last year, I also spent a lot of time on women’s safety and looking at how to address the growing issue of loneliness.
On Christmas Eve, I joined volunteers across Surrey to deliver £40,000 worth of Christmas hampers. Provided by the heroic Greenaway Foundation, these hampers brought Christmas cheer to families right across our communities. So thank you to all the local businesses, volunteers and the man who made all of this possible: Darren Greenaway.
I also had the pleasure of joining Kay Hammond and Caroline Clancey for a community Sunday lunch in Smallfield recently. While talking to people there, I was struck by how difficult it can be to get back on your feet after losing someone incredibly dear, someone who may have been by our side for decades.
We all need people around us, and I firmly believe that three of the best things in life are the three Fs: family, friends and food. Kay and Caroline host these lunches every month and incorporate all three. So thank you to Kay, Caroline, Fiona, Cathy and all the volunteers, and to Sandra for her bedazzling front of house! We are so lucky to have you all in East Surrey.
As some of you may know, bringing people together, getting to know our neighbours and combating loneliness are issues that I really care about. I’ll be doing a lot more work on these areas this year, so if you want to get involved or if you’ve got any ideas please do get in touch at email@example.com.
Finally, as we begin 2022, I want you all to know that my driving force over the next 12 months will continue to be serving you, the residents of East Surrey, to the very best of my ability.
With that, I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year.