Cllr Michael Jeal to continue to serve as Great Yarmouth's mayor
Cllr Michael Jeal is staying on as Great Yarmouth's mayor for another year, leading the civic life of the borough as everyone pulls together to respond to the challenge of coronavirus.
Due to the exceptional circumstances, full council meetings are not currently taking place, including the Annual General Meeting originally scheduled for May 22. Government regulations allow councils to not hold an AGM this year and instead continue appointments to key positions until the next AGM in 2021.
With the endorsement of the leaders of the main political groups, Cllr Jeal will continue to serve in the historic non-political role, with Cllr Sue Hacon staying on as deputy until she is officially elected as mayor next May.
As the first citizen of the borough, Cllr Jeal will continue to represent the people of the borough, as well as chairing full council meetings when they recommence and raising money and awareness for his chosen charities.
He has already recorded several social media video messages to the borough during the pandemic, the most recent being last week when he rallied people to celebrate VE Day at home and to join him in the Nation's Toast to the Heroes of World War Two.
The role of mayor is non-political and the appointment alternates, normally annually, between the main political parties.
Cllr Jeal said: "Serving as mayor is a real privilege. Seeing the way the whole community has pulled together during these unprecedented times has been truly humbling and I would like to praise all involved. Being called upon to represent our wonderful borough into 2021 is an unexpected honour and I will do all I can to do justice to that."
Cllr Carl Smith and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, the leaders of the main political groups, said: "The historic role of mayor provides some stability and that's particularly useful in these challenging times. Cllr Jeal has already served two terms as mayor and is an incredibly experienced councillor and civic representative.
"We're confident he will continue to do a great job leading the civic life of the borough as we continue with the multi-agency response to coronavirus, plan ahead for recovery and remember those who have sadly passed away."