Nicola Williams is the first Ombudsman for the Military.

Nicola Williams is the first Ombudsman for the Military.

“While the power structure is still largely white male from a certain social certain class, a white man of a certain age, 50s and 60 will have his consciousness raised through his daughters. As they get older, they are more aware of age discrimination. They want their girls to have the opportunities they had.”

Nicola Williams becomes the Ombudsman for the armed services

Portrait of new Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces Nicola Williams

Previously she was the Service Complaints Commissioner (SCC), which gives her oversight of how complaints are dealt with in all three sections of the military: Army, Navy and Air-force. Her previous post was as Ombudsman to the Cayman Islands, taking her back to her Caribbean roots.

Not bad going for a black girl growing up in South London, where her teacher’s expectation at A levels was to advise her to get a job in Woolworth.

Nicola Williams trained first as a lawyer, then barrister, then judge, Continue reading

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The Service Compaints Ombudsman

The Service Complaints Ombudsman

Nicola Williams

I wanted to use my my abilities with words,

both the written and the spoken word
to help further social justice, that’s my life purpose.

When the Travon Martin verdict came out in the States, I was so very very angry at the time because of the blatant unfairness.

Social justice
Nicola has been a barrister, a judge and served on regulatory bodies.  She has been the second woman Service Complaints Commissioner for the armed forces and now has  a more important role, that of the first  Service Complaints Ombudsman, to the Military. Continue reading

Mayor of Croydon Council


Mayor Patricia Hay-Justice

My role as mayor is very important.   On the political side you always have the leader and the political establishment. Then there needs to be an individual  to champion that borough.  Making sure Croydon is seen in a great light, the brilliant buildings and green spaces, not as a concrete jungle.   We have a phenomenal  multitude of nationalities.   A most wonderful mix of individuals who live together in harmony.  Some boroughs don’t have that. it is Important  in the years to come , this intricately woven tapestry of individuals.

 

Working classPatricia Hay Justice Mayor of Croydon

Continue reading

A Lady in the Lords

A Lady in the Lords,

from a Housing Estate

There I was working with people with university degrees, and me from a housing estate.   ” I’ve always been from a housing estate.”   says Baroness Prosser.  “It was a shocking eye-opener. There were children thrown out of school, housing estates due to be pulled down, dysfunctional families.   I had lived on housing estates, but I had never realized that people like that existed. “

Baroness Prosser came from Meersham Road Thornton Heath

Baroness Prosser of Battersea

Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and a  former trade unionist she is particularly interested in work, equalities and equal pay.   Now in the Lords, Margaret Prosser is still working for peoples’ entitlement :

“The right to have equality of opportunity, not necessarily equal  outcomes, but an opportunity to fulfill your capacity. And of course it has implications for your responsibilities.”

“My husband was suddenly in a wheel chair and we were very young, we were poor, but we were the deserving poor.     I was involved with the Community Development Project, campaigning to get  Southwark to open a day centre for young people with disabilities, because he was young, we both were young, and they only had day care for geriatrics.”

It makes me smile, but the community development people asked me to come in and cover at lunch time, because I knew so much about entitlement and benefits; and they paid me £4 a week, that was the most they could pay me without me loss of benefits.”

Amy Johnson the pilot, was my role model when I was young.    I didn’t even perceive her as a woman holding her own in a man’s world.  I saw her as daring and brave and prepared.  Amy deserved a big bit of applause really”.

Martin Luther King was important: “Because of his pride; not taking it laying down, but also not showing off, just proper.  He had no-one to stand up for him, and yet he remained proud and proper in he those circumstances and at no time did he lose it.”

 The Women Sewing Machinists at Ford Motors Dagenham Continue reading