Letter from the Editor – February 2023

Welcome to February 2023! We didn’t print in January but we’ve been busy behind the scenes streamlining systems, gathering stories, developing new features, and ensuring the Tandridge Independent looks the best it has ever been. This month’s issue features great tips from our columnists, including new interior design guru Deborah, from Menagerie Interiors, who is offering inspiration for those thinking about renovating their homes, and River’s Kitchen, where our very own River-Blue brings us a fun twist on a traditional recipe. Finance expert Chantal Baker, from Champ Consultants, explains why it’s so important to check your credit report – something I didn’t do for years.   We also have a story about the inspirational Ella Patterson, a Caterham resident who has been training to run two half-marathons to raise money to help her dad, who is suffering from the rare genetic disorder hereditary spastic paraplegia. We receive regular information about local charity events and while we would love to include each and every one in the paper, we don’t always have the space. We can, however, put them on our website and across our socials instead, so please keep sending them to us! The kids and I will be flipping pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, and I’ve already begun planning half-term activities. With three children who vary in age from 6 to 15 and who each have completely different interests, I definitely have to get organised early. Just Dance Performing Arts in Coulsdon will be holding their annual showcase on the fabulous stage at Woldingham School, so that’s already in my diary. If you fancy getting creative with your kids you could stop by Godstone’s Flowers for Florists: they have everything for all kinds of floral projects (perfect for Valentine’s Day!) and while you’re there you can pick up some romantic […]
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Letter from the Editor – November 2022

November already – where do the months go?! In fact, where do the years go? My team and I are gearing up to celebrate the three-year anniversary of our first edition of the new-look Caterham and District Independent, in December 2019. My small team was thrown in at the deep end and we quickly discovered how challenging producing your favourite free monthly paper is…Since then, we’ve learned plenty of new skills, met lots of fabulous people, changed our name and expanded our reach to cover the whole of Tandridge District. It’s been hectic, but we’ve loved (almost) every minute of it! Front page Our front page story this month concerns the proposed development of 140 houses at Godstone Quarry. Local residents have expressed concerns about the impact on traffic, pollution, school places and the area’s wildlife. We put these to the developers responsible for the plan. And the rest.. National Tree Week takes place at the end of the month: our article is illustrated by the beautiful old oak tree that the children of Hurst Green Infant School and Nursery are lucky enough to have in their grounds. As usual, we also have lots of stories about fantastic people doing amazing things in our community. Former soldier Steven Davies now spends his own time and money cleaning and restoring military graves: we find out about his recent work at St Mary’s Church in Caterham. We also feature the founder of charity The Lily Foundation, who has just received an MBE for her dedication to helping people suffering with mitochondrial disease, plus the pupils of Essendene Lodge School, who invited the Salvation Army to their Harvest Festival celebrations. On to our columnists: Chantal Baker, from Champ Consultants, talks us through how to find the right accountant, Hever Castle’s head gardener Neil […]
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Letter from Claire Coutinho – September 2022

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer. I know many of you will be worried about rising prices, particularly when the energy price cap increases next month. There is more support with the cost of living coming shortly, with every household receiving a £400 reduction in their bill in October. This will be applied automatically and does not need to be paid back. For households on means-tested benefits, including Pension Credit, a second payment of £324 will be coming in the next couple of months. This follows the July payment of £326. Anyone in receipt of a disability benefit will also receive an additional £150 this month, and every pensioner household receiving the Winter Fuel Payment will receive an additional £300, starting in November. It is highly likely more support will be announced soon, given the scale of price rises we are seeing and I look forward to working with the new prime minister on this crucial issue. If you have any questions about what support you are entitled to, or you think you might have missed out on a payment, please contact me (see below). Facing a drought We’ve also been facing a drought following the driest summer since 1976. In the short term, the water companies need to be doing much more to tackle leaks, given that we lose approximately 3 billion litres of water to leakage every single day. Ofwat also has a stronger role to play in making sure that the water companies are not overleveraging and underinvesting. It also has highlighted the importance of our global work to reduce climate change emissions and conserve our natural environment here in the UK. Greentember This month marks the start of my annual Greentember, where I focus on the environment for the whole of September. As […]
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