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Cllr Michael Jeal set to become mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough in the 2019/20 municipal year

HAVING travelled around the world twice when still a teenager, Cllr Michael Jeal is set for another rare double as he becomes the mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough for the second time.

Michael Jeal

He will be officially elected into the ceremonial, non-political role at the annual council meeting on Wednesday, May 15, when he will take over from Mary Coleman. His deputy will be Cllr Sue Hacon.

As the first citizen of the borough, he will chair full council meetings, help to raise money for his chosen charities, and represent the borough and its people at functions both inside and outside of the area.

Michael, who lives on South Beach Parade, Great Yarmouth, was first elected to serve in the Nelson ward in 1986. He has since held a number of key council posts, including the mayor's consort to Susan Robinson in 2006/7, the mayor in 2010/11 and cabinet member for economic development from 2012 to 2015.

He said: "When you think I grew up largely in a place called Percy Main, one of the most deprived areas in North Shields, to come to be the mayor of my home borough of Great Yarmouth twice is really special and an absolute honour.

"Serving before as mayor was a real privilege, and I'm again looking forward to raising money and awareness for my chosen charities and representing the communities of the borough. There are a lot of people who selflessly do some great work without recognition, so if I can help in any way to get them that recognition then that will be my goal."

Michael's father was from Caister and his mother from North Shields. He grew up in the North East and joined the Merchant Navy, sailing twice around the world in cargo vessels while still a teenager.

In 1971, following a period as a general labourer in London, Michael returned to Great Yarmouth, where he still had family living locally and where he has stayed since, describing his decades in Great Yarmouth as "the longest and the best holiday I've ever had".

After a short spell as a nursing assistant at St Nicholas' Hospital, he joined the fire service and served as a firefighter in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston for 30 years, becoming involved in local politics through helping out the Fire Brigades Union. 

In addition to his council role, since retiring as a firefighter, Michael has been the project manager at First Move Furnishaid, a local charity which redistributes furniture and white goods to families in the local area at affordable prices.

For his year as mayor, his chosen charities will include Heart 2 Heart Norfolk, a charity which raises money to place live-saving defibrillators in schools, clubs and public places across the area.

Last modified on 23 May 2019

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