By-Election 2022 - North Isles / Gary Cleaver

Name: Gary Cleaver Electoral Ward: North Isles Description: Independent

Gary Cleaver

My most immediate concern is the uncertainty surrounding the provision of the timetabled inter island ferry services.

A combination of Covid related illness, poor staff retention and recruitment and ageing infrastructure have left North Isles communities in a desperate position.

Imaginative ways must be found to enhance the terms and conditions of staff and funding needs to be identified and released to upgrade the infrastructure.

There are lots of other issues like suitable, affordable housing, high speed broadband, fixed links. But unless the ferries are improved in very short order communities in the North Isles risk long term damage. This must be one of the main objectives for this council over the coming months.

I came to live on Unst 15 years ago, having moved from a rural West Yorkshire village. Over the years I have had a number of part time and sickness/holiday cover jobs as well as running a craft business and latterly selling refurbished microphones and studio equipment online.

I also served on the Scottish Ambulance emergency responder team based on Unst. From 2012 to 2017 I was one of the North Isles councillors on the SIC.

I sat on the Education and Families committee and was vice chair of the Social Services committee. I was a member of the Integrated Joint Board which is charged with oversight of community health and social care. I was also vice chair of the Shetland College Board and a member of the board of the Lerwick Port Authority.

The council of which I was a member faced a serious financial crisis, largely caused by years of ‘kicking the can down the road’! By the end of the council’s term things were in a much better shape to withstand the shocks of an uncertain world. However, many difficult decisions had been taken to get that improvement.

My motto is – No one is well served by being told what they want to hear at the expense of hearing the truth.

I would be honoured to receive people’s first preference vote and go forward to represent the ward in which I live.

Contact Information

Phone/Tel: 07496 811367


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