The GDPR legislation that became law on 25 May affects parish councils as well as other statutory organisations, businesses and even charities.

And in case you were tempted, it's no good hiding your head in the sand in the hope that your authority is small enough to avoid being caught up in the new data handling rules.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has made it clear that every one of its members, regardless of size or data use, needs to toe the line – something it estimates will cost around £3.5m a year.

There is, of course, a further complication with parish councils, which are in an unusual position when it comes to data handling by virtue of their make up. As Accordio's Rob Neil explained: "Parish councils act in some cases as corporate bodies, but they are, of course, made up of individual councillors who will each have his or her own interaction with the local electorate.

"It makes compliance more complex, but Accordio's direct experience with local government means we can come up with a workable, cost-effective solution for parishes that will keep councils within the rules for a low annual fee."

Accordio will take on the responsibility of advising the council on data protection issues and making sure it complies with all the requirements of the new legislation for a fraction of the cost of appointing a  data protection officer (DPO). And even if your council could afford the luxury of its own specialist, it would have its work cut out to find one. Figures show the country needa to train 37,000 such experts to meet the demand created by the new regulation.

The efficient, low-cost alternative is to ask Accordio to carry out a data audit and provide its outsourced Data Protection Officer Service for a low annual fee - usually no more than a few hundred pounds a year but fully tailored to your needs.

Relying on Accordio's expertise and experience will bring you peace of mind and allow your council to focus fully on serving the people of your parish. Read more about Accordio's unique offer to parish council's by following this link.