- b 1948
Chas Ball graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc (Econ) in 1970. Following graduation, he worked in London for a human rights pressure group and then for the National Union of Students (NUS), coordinating a unit to encourage wider student participation in community action and environment projects across Britain. In 1976 he was co-founder of a book and periodical distribution co-operative, when he moved to Leeds. In 1979 he started work for the Highlands and Islands Development Board (HIDB) in Inverness, as a Community Co-operatives Development Officer. Building on the success of its pioneering Community Co-operative scheme in the Western Isles, the HIDB was extending support and funding across its regions. Ball's remit was to support communities in Argyll, Highland and the islands of Orkney and Shetland to establish community co-operatives. After two years he moved to Kirkwall, in Orkney, to focus on communities in Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and North-West Sutherland.
In 1983 Ball took up a post with Leeds City Council as a Co-operative Development Officer supporting co-operatives and community enterprises in the local authority area. After three years he moved to the Projects Unit at Friends of the Earth, where he helped support local projects across England to become sustainable businesses, mainly in waste and recycling. Following this, in 1989, he became Executive Director of Save Waste and Prosper (SWAP), a community enterprise which pioneered various early recycling projects and developed a range of national research activities. SWAP provided consultancy services to clients such as ASDA, B&Q and ICI Dulux to facilitate recycling activities and review their environmental practices. After graduating with an MSc in Urban Regeneration from Sheffield Hallam University in 1999, Ball moved into sustainable transport and founded City Car Club (later acquired by Enterprise). As the first commercial car club operator in Britain, City Car Club developed a strong presence in Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Brighton. He left in 2008, continuing in the sector as a consultant and in 2010 joined national transport charity, Carplus Trust (later named CoMoUK), becoming its Chief Executive in 2011. The Trust promoted shared mobility and worked with local authorities and operators to expand car club activities and administered national funding programmes for government agencies in Scotland and England. On retirement in 2015, Ball continued to work in a voluntary capacity with several environmental and sustainable transport organisations.