Give me a job, petition man still waiting for reply

A disabled man who handed the council a 450-strong petition to get him a cleaning job is still waiting for a reply a month later.

Michael Beck, of Ormesby, has spent every morning of the last decade picking up chip forks and other litter around Market Place for free.

He hopes the borough council will employ him to sweep the streets and help market traders - and scores of market traders and friends are backing his cause.

The 49-year-old suffered horrendous injuries when he was knocked down by a car on April 2, 1987 and is on incapacity benefit with epilepsy and severe memory loss.

But he is still holding out hopes of getting his dream job cleaning the market after handing in his petition on Monday, November 28.

“I’ve not heard a word back yet, but I’m hopeful,” said Mr Beck. “They need someone - everybody tells me. We need a cleaner and I’m the best person they could have.”

Michael says cleaning the Market Place gives him a sense of purpose and he hopes if the council create a job for him he will not need to rely on state benefits any more.

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And he is seeking legal advice over the number of disabled people the council is required to employ.

“They have to employ some disabled people and I’ve been to my solicitor,” said Mr Beck.

“I don’t know if they’re taking this seriously. I know I’m disabled but I’m the best person for the job.”

Mr Beck, of Beck Avenue, was in a coma for 15 weeks after he was involved in an accident on the walk home from his twin brother’s stag night.

More than 450 people, including many market traders, have signed a petition to help Mr Beck get a job.

Speaking to the Mercury after Mr Beck handed in his petition, Diane King of Unique Sweets and Treats said: “I know Michael very well.

“If you want anybody to watch the stall while you go to the toilet he will do it, or take your rubbish out for you, or get you a cup of tea. Hopefully they will give him a job.”

Mr Beck handed his petition into Robin Neve, the council’s service unit manager for property services.

The borough council said the petition is now with Duncan Mallett, the market manager, and he has spoken to senior councillors about it before coming to a decision.

A council spokesman added: “The council is giving further consideration to the application.”