Parish councils cry foul at cost of GDPR compliance

st_michaels_churchThe National Association of Local Councils is going cap in hand to the Government to ask for extra funding to help parish councils comply with GDPR, following claims that they will have to cough up millions of pounds a year to be compliant.
NALC chairman Sue Baxter, who is also chairman of Wythall Parish Council, has written to Secretary of State Matt Hancock setting out her concerns. However, her main gripe is that all 10,000 local councils – as well as hundreds of parish authorities – will have to appoint a data protection officer, irrespective of their size or data use, creating a new cost burden totalling at least £3.5m a year.
According to the ICO GDPR guidance, all public authorities must appoint a DPO, although a single officer can act for a group of public authorities, taking into account their structure and size.
Nevertheless, the NALC has sent MPs a briefing paper to outline its concerns and has asked councils and county associations to support the campaign by making representations to MPs.
Baxter said: “While we broadly welcome the principles of the Data Protection Bill, it is vital these new measures are proportionate and the impact of GDPR on our sector is fully understood by the Government.
“On a number of occasions recently the Government has acknowledged the very important services delivered by parish councils and their role in improving quality of life and well being of communities. It is therefore vital the Government mitigates the financial impact of the Bill and GDPR on our councils, and ultimately residents in our communities, by providing new burdens funding. I have stressed to the Government my keenness to work with them on this important issue.”

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