I share many of your concerns. My local association has given incorrect advice that has cost a local council thousands of pounds. The clerk challenged their advice and asked them to check with the NALC, but they refused. The advice simply looked incorrect and, as it turned out, it was. The subscriptions we pay are one of the largest items of expenditure for a small council and for most of the time, it gives us little more than access to document templates on the NALC site. The temptation to share one subscription between several councils is overwhelming. The training is expensive and follows a one-size-fits-all principle, so we don't always get what we really want from it. I've not attended any of their Clerkship courses, but I've seen several inexperienced clerks come away from them with a very combative attitude towards the members of their councils, which, in every case, has ultimately cost them their job, as the relationship became unworkable. Our county council is losing faith in the association and awarding contracts to other organisations to provide support services. A merger with another organisation would be the obvious solution, but the association will not even discuss it. As a one man band, they're clearly not up to the job, but the only way we could force them to change would be a boycott by all councils. That's unlikely to happen.