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EDITOR'S COMMENT: A salute to your Times

PUBLISHED: 11:41 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 25 August 2010

A salute to your Times EARLIER this month I mentioned how vital it was to cherish your Times not only for its complete and utter value as a local newspaper but for its longevity, integral and most notably independent role in community life.

A salute to your Times

EARLIER this month I mentioned how vital it was to cherish your Times not only for its complete and utter value as a local newspaper but for its longevity, integral and most notably independent role in community life.

For more than 150 years the Kentish Times series has served several generations of readers and now, of course, our websites are showing a global audience what shakes up and moulds our lives here too.

But to maintain such an all-embracing service for all we will always need the interest of the community and its leaders, and all those advertisers who support our belief in an independent representation of news, views and sport.

All nuts and bolts of tradition, of course, but something we must constantly wave the flag for in these times of socio-economic turbulence now inflicted on us by the recession.

I write this not only because we are approaching Local Newspaper Week (May 11 - 17) which celebrates the continual survival of the Times but because I was delighted to learn I can echo the thoughts of many leading figures in Kent.

The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Allan Willett, is giving an address this week (Thursday) at Rochester Cathedral in which he plans to salute the local press for its magnificent work in representing the various communities of the county.

HM The Queen's own representative and his wife Anne told me they had always been a strong advocate of local newspapers and wanted me to know he highly they valued our efforts to keep readers and web audiences informed.

"The Kentish Times series is doing an excellent job and long may it continue to do so," said Mr Willett.

Also in agreement were former Kent County Council leader, brewery chief and deputy Lieutenant of Kent - Bobby Neame; former journalist, company director and army colonel, David McDine; and deputy lieutenant Jeremy Leigh-Pemberton and his wife, Vivienne.

When I met them at a special lunch last week it was Mrs Leigh-Pemberton who told me local newspapers were needed to help save everything in our lives which is under threat like post offices, village shops, and pubs and, of course, in the recent case of the Kentish Times series - hospital A&E services too.

The Lord Lieutenant's service at the cathedral on Thursday is being held to herald the work of community personnel like St John Ambulance, the Fire Brigade and other vital organisations that serve us. A full report and pictures of this event will appear on our websites and newspapers shortly.

melody.foreman@archant.co.uk

The perils of internet dating..

NEWS reached me this week of a mean woman who grooms chaps via internet matchmaking sites and once she gets into their homes she then raids them of all their best stuff...televisions, hi-fi, watches, car, blackberries, bikes, the lot.

While most men might argue they usually get married before this happens it seems I must warn lonely male souls out there to be careful they don't fall for the mystery web-chat temptress.

Apparently she makes connection with her victim and spends weeks having seemingly pleasant and harmless conversations with them over the net. He begins to believe in her false identity and gets that warm glow of romance and feels even more pleased he has found a good egg when she tells him how virtuous she is and doesn't ever do one night stands "because she's not that kind of girl..."

In fact she's probably painting herself out to be a kind of Julie Andrews character straight out of the convent and plays the old reverse psychology on him. Saying no when she means yes, then saying yes when she means no..that kind of cat and mouse thing that some men find titillating. I got to know of her scam via a friend of a friend of a friend. Her latest victim was a quiet, shy, retiring type who finally thought he had found true love when she agreed to let him cook for her at his house. However she did allegedly continue to remind him she would need her own room if she was to stay over after drinking wine with the meal because..."she was not that kind of girl.." and hanky panky was not on the menu.

So she turns up to his place and they have a good conversation and once I suppose they'd washed up together they retired to their separate rooms because of the no nookie rule. So he climbs the stairs respecting her virtue while she despicably reccys the place to carry out her robbery while he's asleep.

This chap I know of lost pretty much everything. "Did he tell the police?" I enquired of my companion. "No, I think he's pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. No one wants to be taken for a fool," replied my pal.

I'd argue it's safer all around to meet in a pub on a first few dates. Least that way it helps keep the local inn alive during the recession and of course your address can remain nobody's business but your own.

It's a trust thing.

melody.foreman@archant.co.uk

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