Next mayor pledges to help unemployed
THE next Great Yarmouth mayor, Labour's Michael Jeal, has pledged to use his year in office to help the town's poor and unemployed.The 56-year-old, who has represented Nelson ward on the borough council for 23 years, was due to be approved as the successor to Tory Tony Smith, at a council meeting on Thursday, January 7.
THE next Great Yarmouth mayor, Labour's Michael Jeal, has pledged to use his year in office to help the town's poor and unemployed.
The 56-year-old, who has represented Nelson ward on the borough council for 23 years, was due to be approved as the successor to Tory Tony Smith, at a council meeting on Thursday, January 7.
Mr Jeal, a father-of-two, who served as a Yarmouth and Gorleston firefighter for 30 years, said he had always felt a duty of service to the people of Yarmouth, bred through his work as a firefighter and his current job as project manager for the charity First Move Furnishaid, which provides furniture for the unemployed and deprived.
He said: “I was very pleased, happy and surprised to be given the opportunity to be the mayor and it is a great honour. I would like to meet as many people as I can, particularly those we rarely hear from and people who help the unemployed and help make peoples' lives a little bit better.”
Born in Yarmouth early in January 1953, Mr Jeal moved with parents Stanley and Ethel of Wallsend, Newcastle, following the East Coast floods that month.
He returned to the town in 1972 for a two week holiday with his step-sister Brenda Parmenter and quickly fell in love with the resort, deciding to stay and find work as an Eastern Counties bus driver rather than return to the North East.
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Subsequently, he worked as a nursing assistant at the town's St Nicholas Hospital before joining the fire service in 1974. He was involved in a number of major incidents, including the fire that destroyed Broad Row in 1998.
Mr Jeal lives in South Beach Parade with wife Paula, 56 and has two children - Christina Jeal, 24 and David, 23.