New mayor's plans for year ahead

The new mayor of the borough of Great Yarmouth is looking forward to meeting and helping as many people as possible in his year of office.Although Michael Jeal is known for his strong Geordie accent, he was born in Yarmouth and after growing up in Newcastle he moved back to his home town in 1972.

The new mayor of the borough of Great Yarmouth is looking forward to meeting and helping as many people as possible in his year of office.

Although Michael Jeal is known for his strong Geordie accent, he was born in Yarmouth and after growing up in Newcastle he moved back to his home town in 1972.

He was made mayor of the borough on Monday night and his first official role saw him give the final seal of approval to affiliate the area to the Royal Navy's latest warship HMS Dauntless.

Mr Jeal, who is 57 and was a firefighter for 30 years, said: “I am very proud to be mayor. I want to meet as many people as possible and do whatever I can to help the people of the borough.”

He first stood in Yarmouth's Nelson Ward in 1986 for the Labour Party. He has two children and has been married to his third wife Paula for 20 years.

Mr Jeal replaced Tony Smith as mayor and Mr Smith will be his deputy for the next 12 months.

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The new mayor's chosen charities for 2010/11 are the Royal Anglian Regiment Association Benevolent Fund, the Faith animal charity and Yarmouth's Smart Kids autistic centre.