Part One: Standing for Election

Part Two: In the States

Part Three: Everything Else

Where Can I Go For Advice?

Fellow Deputies are a good source of general advice on how to manage constituency work. But if you’re looking for advice on a specific case, remember that you need to treat the information your constituent has shared with you as confidential, and ask their permission before discussing it with anyone else. You can say: “I need to speak to X in order to understand this a bit better / to find out what support is available for you – is it OK if I share your name / the details you’ve sent me?”

The kind of people you might want to approach for information or advice are fellow Deputies, people who work in the public sector (in areas relating to the person’s concern), or possibly even voluntary organisations that might be able to offer help. Just be clear about who you’ll be sharing your constituent’s information with, and why, and make sure that you have their consent to do so. (Keep a record, if you can. If you have an email trail, that’s straightforward – if your conversation takes place in person or over the phone, you may want to keep a note of it.)

The person may say no to sharing their information with a given individual or organisation, and then you can choose if you want to offer an alternative – “You don’t want me to talking to X, but is there someone else who you would be comfortable with me talking to?” – or just to say that you’re sorry, but if you’re not able to discuss this with people who might be able to help, there’s probably nothing more you can do.

The one exception to this, I think, is if the person tells you something which makes you fear that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk. I would strongly encourage you to get general advice at the outset of your time in the States, perhaps from the senior officers who support you as States Members, as to how you can handle that sort of situation, so that if it happens to you in practice, you are already prepared.