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BOTLab AGM and members' meeting 28 March 2017

Date/time and location: 7pm, 28 March 2017 at the Hackspace

Agenda

  • AGM
    • Vote on proposed system for election of new committee members - see this page
    • Presentation of annual accounts for members' approval - draft accounts here
    • Committee report on previous year and objectives for next year
    • Appointment of new committee members
  • Food!
  • Members' meeting
    • What to do about the Hardinge lathe?
    • How to encourage involvement in inductions/maintenance for Hackspace tools?
    • Incident log for accidents and near misses

Attendees

Toby Se, Tarim, John W, Pam D, Russell D, John D, Richard L, Arthur A, Russ C, Nic M, David W (minutes-taker), Ian A-S

Apologies: Nick G, David H, Oliver H

Topics discussed

  • AGM
    • Vote on proposed system for election of new committee members
      • System as specified has no mechanism to limit number of committee members. JW: how do we set the maximum number of committee members? Constitution doesn't specify a maximum.
      • T: Distinction between Committee and Directors - AGM exists to elect Directors, not necessarily the same as committee. Currently they are the same. Likewise BOTLab membership is the same as Hackspace membership.
      • TS: Maybe say 6 as an arbitrary upper limit? IA-S: maybe relate to the number of members? T: limit #directors to 5 to avoid deadlock, but allow directors to appoint arbitrary numbers of resposibility positions.
      • TS: Odd or even number of directors? All: Odd.
      • IA-S: felt more responsibility by being elected as a director rather than appointed as a committee member - made him more engaged, wated to contribute.
      • Vote in favour of setting a maximum of 5 directors: Unanimously approved
      • Who has responsibility for approving proposals?
      • PD: could bring in sub-committees to deal with specific matters
      • IAS: How are committee members appointed? By a majority of the directors.
      • AA: If non-director committee positions existed, he would consider stepping down as director and becoming one in order to continue contributing without responsibility. IAS: directors have liability, they have been conscious of this, but we think the insurance limits this - does it? TS: Insurance doesn't cover if directors act negligently. JW: feels strongly that unpaid voluntary directors should not be liable in such a situation. TS: maybe goal for year is to engage with other hackspaces and understand how their liability is managed.
      • PD: Emphasises H&S during tours of the space for new members but would help if there was a booklet or other formal information on ground rules, where to report broken items/accidents, provide a point of contact. Could be derived from existing Hackspace Manual/documentation on wiki. Maybe a good aim for a subcommittee to undertake?
      • JW: Also need a members' agreement for people to sign when they join - make it clear the hackspace doesn't have a “manager” who takes responsibility for them - make them aware of their own responsibilities.
      • Voting system (with modification to set the target number of directors): Approved unanimously.
    • Presentation of annual accounts for members' approval
      • DW presented the accounts and described their content.
      • JW: Should we record laser cutting credit balances separately? Is it the case that people would be owed their money back if we couldn't provide the service? DW: Was not made clear initially. TS: the terms on which people are contributing money should be made clearer next time a similar big fundraising drive happens. IS: Should be broken out and recorded separately for reference.
      • Accounts: Approved unanimously.
    • Committee report on previous year and objectives for next year
      • Notes on topics presented:
        • Theme for this year was improving systems and processes - these included (work by committe and others):
        • Arranged insurance and associated risk mitigation actions (chemical cabinet, safer heaters)
        • Started paying electricity bills for G11, and switched to Ecotricity
        • Collectively decided on policy on children in the hackspace
        • Set up the Hackspace announcements Mailchimp list
        • Tallied laser cutter usage to date and reconciled against pledges
        • Migrated website to new server
        • Acquired Hardinge lathe and brought to near-operational condition. Agreed on and constructed CNC router dust booth.
        • Set up micro purchase mechanism and consumables process.
        • Skillshares handed over from MV to JW. ~5 events run.
      • JW: Risk assessments should be put on the wiki, for openness.
      • RC: Should revitalise signage on machines about inductions.
      • JW: Also obtained hazard sheets for all chemicals, stored in binder.
    • Appointment of new committee members
      • DW, RD and DH stand down. IAS is chosen by drawing lengths of wire to stand down for reelection. AA and TS remain. Including IAS there are thus 3 vacant positions for Directors.
      • NG and RC put themselves forward for election in addition to IAS.
      • IAS, NG and RC are unaimously elected to directors by secret-ballot block approval vote, according to the newly-approved election system.
    • T: Vote of thanks to incoming, outgoing and remaining directors.
  • Food!
  • Members' meeting
    • Incident log for accidents and near misses
      • DW: Agree committee should deal with this, to be discussed at the next committee meeting
      • JW: Reviewing recent incidents should be a standing agenda item on committee and members' meeting agendas.
      • IAS: Are there any recent incidents we should be aware of?
        • Angle grinder had loose discs - hence angle grinder was removed by its owner
        • Mercury switches found on floor - need to be disposed of
        • Broken plug that had been reused disintegrated when unplugged - could be fixed by using resilient rubber plugs on equipment
      • TS: Relies on members to spot incidents and report them.
      • NM: How high a standard should we set? JW: we should fix problms when we're aware of them
      • PD: Should try to inform people about importance of working safely when they first join the space - ground rules, booklet etc. IAS: That helps but won't capture the people who are existing members - PD: but it helps.
      • IAS: Also need to encourage more involvement from new members in running the space - PD: e.g. NM's dust booth build - NM: response has been a bit variable, but always at least 1 person who helps, and people seem to get a lot out of it - offering food and skills - IAS: could offer to induct the people who help first when it's finished - NM: next thing after dust booth will be card reader
    • How to encourage involvement in inductions/maintenance for Hackspace tools?
      • IAS: for 3d printer, we have quite a few people who have come forward to be inductors and JD has contributed a lot to resolving backlog for the laser - so it's more about space cleanliness and maintenance
      • IAS: could we approach other companies for grants?
      • NM: we don't currently spend our own money on projects, let alone other people's!
      • IAS: to be discussed by next committee
      • JW: potential projects include biohack, setting up Hardinge lathe
      • NM: or residency, encourage a group project
      • RC: Make it a place to “hang out” rather than just to work? a place to go and sit and relax, separate soft furnished area
      • NM: take on another space? IAS: But costs involved - business rates. Is that what we should pay for?
    • What to do about the Hardinge lathe?
      • IAS: JW has put in a lot of work to prepare this but there hasn't seemed to be enthusiasm for taking on and maintaining it
      • JW: Originally someone offered a small lathe but then we were offered the Hardinge and people preferred that one - has been frustrated at lack of support subsequently
      • IAS: Potentially has someone interested in buying it - a big wood workshop ~250m away, with 3-phase already
      • JW: capacity of Hardinge is not that great - it's very solid and steady for precision but not very large capacity
      • TS: what could we get for the money we would spend on an electrical installation? RC: A reasonable small Chinese lathe.
      • NM: would like that lathe, or at least a metalwork lathe capacity. PD: many visitors are interested in lathe.
      • JW: electrical installation in G10 in general is not well organised, daisy-changed extension leads. Should be sorted out.
      • JW: If we gave it to this other place, would we have access to it in some form? IAS: Workshop is run as a woodwork equivalent of this space, and if we gifted it to them they might give us access.
      • NM: already potential for fuses to blow when laser and CNC running at same time so electrics in need of upgrade. Each tool should have its own circuit, otherwise main trip switch can blow.
      • Action: IAS to talk to potential new host and send proposal to group. Still scope for getting our own lathe, but should be easy to get to use - less intimidating.
      • JW: If we threaten to get rid of it, more people might object - maybe a way to elicit more support for it?
      • IAS: there are many other places in Bristol with complementary skills, we should network with them. We're one of the few spaces with electronics, but at present we don't engage with other spaces.
    • Laser cutter charging update
      • After tallying all charging for last 2 years, £973.89 owed to Hackspace but also many people have plenty of money on their account. £2173 usage ove 2 years, ~£1500 usage per year. This is a reasonable rate, should be enough to allow us to maintain it - and that machine has easily replaceable parts.
      • IAS: The proposal actually said all balances expire after a year, but no reason we shouldn't be generous and allow people to use it over longer time period. But it isn't represented as a liability because of this.
      • AA: We should be gentle don't shock people with big bills! Though many other users only have small balances. Are we charging enough? This is quite a good amount.
    • AOB:
      • bristol@hackspace email address - T has investigated and this forwards to info@bristol. .
      • Skillshares: booked up to June, next is JD with drag-knife cutter, then KasparB on FPGA, then Tom G on oscilloscopes, then …
      • Tidyness: RC: dislikes general mess in the space. DW: next scheduled work weekend not until May but would have to be before then. Also renovating floor paint - using quick-drying paint, one area at a time.
      • Door lock: IAS: will contact landlord about replacing lock as previously discussed. RC: Also should look at putting a damper on the door to prevent it from injuring people!
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