Claire Coutinho MP - March newsletter

Tandridge Independent & Parish Newsletter March 2024

Did you know that nestled down a lane on the outskirts of Lingfield, we have one of the best school and colleges for young people with epilepsy and severe learning difficulties in the country?


St Piers School & College is a beacon of educational excellence, run by the brilliant Young Epilepsy charity, which has been in Lingfield for over a century. I care deeply about giving children with special educational needs and disabilities the very best start in life, and on a recent visit I was bowled over by all they have on site to help their students develop the skills they need to grow and make their way in the world. From a coffee hut to help pupils learn how to handle cash and serve customers, to woodworking workshops to create the most beautiful ornaments and birdboxes.


I’m going to help them look into opening a shop in the village and I can't wait to see their crafts being offered to a wider audience. Thank you to Franky, Wendy, Sasha and Georgia for showing me around.


Now from colleges to childcare – I know how much parents in Caterham adore the quality of care and early education offered by Debbie, Joanne, and the fun-loving team at Ducklings Pre-School in the Christian Centre.


I recently visited them to discuss the largest ever expansion of funded childcare for working parents rolling out over the next 18 months or so, and how crucial it is that parents across East Surrey can access childcare settings that are convenient for them and their families. Ducklings provide just that. Families can find out more about the huge expansion in childcare provision at


It was also a real joy to visit Oxted School for a good discussion on recruitment, retention and resilience in pupils with Executive Principal Anne-Louise Payne and Louise Lee and Nicola Euridge from the Howard Partnership Trust. I know that many parents have been worried about the effects of teacher absences recently and it was helpful to be able to raise their concerns directly.


After meeting Nicola, Louise and Anne-Louise, I sat down with pupils from Year 7 to Sixth Form to talk about my unconventional route into politics, the policymaking process, and issues ranging from climate change to the Monarchy. If there's one thing I've learnt from visiting schools across East Surrey it's that students always ask the best questions.


At the end of January over 150 pharmacists across the Surrey Heartlands NHS area signed up to the Government’s new Pharmacy First scheme, so that they can treat more health conditions without patients needing to see their GP. This will help to free up ten million GP appointments across the country each year.


Pharmacists will be able to use more of their medical skills and training to help with conditions including sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles, and some UTIs in women.


In my Ministerial role I’ve been working on something that I know many residents get frustrated by – petrol prices. Many have called for a ‘Pumpwatch’ scheme to increase transparency into the market and stop rip-off fuel prices. We are listening and we’re changing the law to give the regulator new powers to force fuel retailers to provide live price information – introducing competition in the market and making it easier for drivers to find the cheapest price at the pump.


Finally, I wanted to remind you that I host regular surgeries to take up your concerns and solve problems on your behalf. In recent weeks I have helped a resident get an appropriate care package so they could be discharged from hospital, I’ve helped a disabled resident get Dart Charge fines cancelled because his account wasn’t registered correctly, I’ve resolved an HMRC delay on behalf of another resident and many more. If you have an issue you’d like me to help with, please contact me on or call 0207 219 5972.



Sign up to our Email Newsletter

Please enter your details below to receive our newsletter:

©2024 Horley Town Council. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions | Privacy Notice
Website Design By J&L Digital