An Independent will put community first

Re: Mayor set to be next MP (Advertiser, October 24).

As a reminder of the local popularity of Camden’s new mayor Peter Sidgreaves, he ran third in the council elections for south ward in 2016 after preferences – behind Eva Campbell and Paul Farrow.

Without preferences he was gone.

His personal vote (119 votes) placed him behind five other candidates in the first round. In light of that result you would have to imagine that the Liberals will have a real fight on their hands to retain the seat of Camden with Mr Sidgreaves at the helm. 

Although now that he has "unexpectedly" been made mayor, after Cr Lara Symkowiak stepped down to spend more time with her family, his local profile is likely to rise before the March election. 

What a lucky coincidence that was.

That said, any claims that this elevation of Cr Sidgreaves to become the Liberal candidate for Camden wasn't planned by him and Chris Patterson, become very hard to believe if you seriously take the suggestion that Peter Sidgreaves put his name down without knowing Chris Patterson was about to resign. 

That would mean his aim was to challenge a sitting Liberal member – and the Liberal Party whip.

That is something that would be seriously frowned upon by the Party's executive. 

It is, of course, an absurd proposition.

Clearly, what we see here is just the latest skirmish in the civil war going on at local branch level. 

When it comes to my vote, I'm not sure I want someone as a local member who puts their own elevation or that of a faction within their party above an open democratic process.

It suggests their priorities may be other than the needs and wishes of our community and those who voted for them. 

When Kerryn Phelps picked up the 20 per cent swing in Wentworth, she said we were seeing the rise of the independents. 

The kind of factional politicking by the local members of major parties that we see here may explain why she could be right on the money.

Maybe it's time for Camden voters to consider an independent as our local representative.

At least they will put our community first.  

Alvin Stone, Camden

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