Do not be afraid to challenge your clerk. The rules on everything are quite clear, if manifold, but reading is the answer to bad practice. Quote the relevant Acts and regulations, post them on your own private website (wordpress or similar is very easy, and free), name and shame bad councillors, bad clerks and bad practices. I do it and it works, but be careful of libel and of falling foul of employment law when slagging off a clerk, if you are a councillor and therefore could be construed as being the employer. Non councillors are have more freedom in that respect.