Camden councillor Peter Sidgreaves wants to see people work closer to home.
And as the newly elected mayor, he is the man that can make that happen.
The liberal councillor was voted in during the annual mayoral election at Tuesday’s council meeting. He will serve as mayor from 2018 to 2020.
The first-time mayor said he felt “honoured and privileged” to take the helm.
Cr Sidgreaves said he would like to continue the good work of former mayor Lara Symkowiak, but he also had his own goals he wanted to achieve.
“I don’t want to change too much because the council has achieved a lot so far,” he said.
“I would like to see projects such as the water play parks and synthetic soccer fields delivered on time and to the best standard we can.
“The council also needs to continue to have a strong financial focus because the surplus funds allow us to deliver more community projects.
“My big focus will be creating local and diverse jobs in the area.
“I want to build on the work of the Camden Regional Economic Taskforce, which aims to bring investment and business into Camden.
“Sixty-five per cent of the population travel outside of Camden for work and I am one of those people.
“I travel two hours and 40 minutes every day. People want to work closer to home.
“As the population continues to grow, traffic will also get worse.”
Sporting and recreation facilities, the improvements to Argyle Street and the Oxley Street car park were listed as Cr Sidgreaves’ proudest achievements to date.
The new mayor works full time as an IT manager at Sydney Catholic Schools.
In October, Cr Sidgreaves will take the rest off the year off to focus on his mayoral duties.
He is married to Amy and has four children: two-year-old twins, a six-year-old and an eight-year-old.
Cr Sidgreaves said full-time work, his council role and having four kids did not leave him with a lot of free time.
“When I do get some spare time I like to spend it with my family,” he said.
Cr Sidgreaves said he put his hand up to be a councillor in 2012 because at that time the area was starting to grow and he wanted to ensure all the good aspects of Camden were maintained.
He did not want to see development and housing ruining Camden’s unique charm.
“I think we have done that well,” he said. “I am proud of what we have achieved.
“I love Camden’s open space and semi-rural lifestyle.
“It is a fantastic place to bring up my kids.”
Cr Sidgreaves said he was up to the challenge of taking on the mayoral role.
“I had a full day of briefing at the council and from what I can see it will be intense but I am ready for the role,” he said.