Erm, they’re infinite.
No, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as that! But one reason a “job description for Deputies” is eternally elusive, is because everyone’s interpretation of the role is different.
By that, I mean your idea of how you want to spend your time, and what your priorities should be, may be quite different to the person elected next to you. (And neither of you is necessarily wrong.) Added to that, every islander you speak to will have different ideas about what you should be doing, and will want you to prioritise their thing, or their way of working.
There are some responsibilities that are unavoidable. You will be responsible for handling people’s data safely, in accordance with the law. And you will have a special duty to children in the care of the States , as a corporate parent – I’ll come to that in a bit. You can’t walk away from those.
But beyond that, how you interpret the role is very much up to you. You are expected to show up at States Meetings, to make useful contributions to debate, and to vote. If you stand for a Committee, you’ll be expected to participate fully in the work of that Committee: to read the papers, to attend meetings, to be fully engaged in decision-making. And if islanders contact you wanting help, you might not always feel able to do so yourself, but you should be prepared at least to connect them with someone who can.
You might find it helps to set yourself some boundaries and expectations early on (“I’m only going to spend so many hours on emails or paperwork a day”, or “I’m always going to require to enquiries within a certain time”) – or you may prefer to wait until you’ve got a flavour of the job before you start building in rhythms that work for you. It’s okay to be making it up as you go along – most people are, for much longer than they’d like to let on! Just give it your best shot and stay honest. And don’t worry if every now and again you need to stop and reset your priorities and the ways you spend your time. That goes with the territory, and it’s totally fine.