Dame Jane Roberts has been named chair elect of Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

Jane will take over from current Living Streets chair, Archie Robertson OBE at Living Streets’ AGM in March 2019 when his six-year term as a trustee ends.

Jane brings enormous experience as a chair and non-executive member, and an impressive career in local government, healthcare and the third sector. Jane is an Honorary Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Research Fellow in Public Leadership at the Open University and until recently she was Chair of the think tank New Local Government Network. Jane was formerly Leader of Camden Council during which time it was awarded Council of the Year and Medical Director of an NHS Primary Care Trust. She chaired the charity Parenting UK and the Councillors Commission, an independent national review.

Jane joins Living Streets as the charity enters its 90th year. In its early days as the Pedestrians Association, the charity’s campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits. Campaign successes in recent years include the first-ever Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, Cycling and Walking Commissioners appointed in London and Greater Manchester, and pavement parking legislation in Scotland.

Dame Jane Roberts

Dame Jane Roberts said:

“The purpose and values Living Streets embodies really strike a chord with me as someone who cares about health and how people relate to one another. Its mission to achieve a better walking environment and inspire people to walk is just as important as it was at its inception 90 years ago.

“In local government, I pursued ways in which local authorities could enhance both the physical and social environment through planning, streetscapes and better transport schemes that promoted walking. And as a doctor, I know how walking is key to an effective public health strategy offering benefits to physical health, mental health and emotional well-being.

“I am thrilled to be joining Living Streets at such an exciting time for the charity and for walking.”

Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets said:

“Jane has a magnificent track record as a health professional, in local government, public service and the voluntary sector. She will be an excellent chair for Living Streets, inclusive, thoughtful and purposeful in her approach and bringing a wealth of experience and expertise. The enthusiasm she has already shown for Living Streets has been matched by the enthusiasm with which she has been received here.

“She will replace our popular chair Archie Robertson OBE whose term ends in March 2019 and I want to wholeheartedly thank Archie who over the past six years has steered Living Streets to unprecedented growth.

“Jane will join us in our 90th year. I am sure she will help set Living Streets on course to achieve even more by our centenary year.”

Archie Roberson OBE, outgoing Living Streets chair commented:

“Sad though I am to be standing aside from our charity I am confident that Jane, with colleague trustees and the great people at Living Streets, will continue to deliver great improvements for walkers."