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BOTLab committee meeting 14 July 2015

Agenda

  • Fire safety
  • Insurance
  • Discuss Proposals Awaiting Committee Review:
Date Title Proposer Status
22/01/2015 New laser NM Awaiting Review
09/03/2015 Dust Extraction NM Awaiting Committee Review
10/03/2015 Vacuum Cleaner JW Awaiting Committee Review
4/6/2015 hsproposals/2015-06-04-Do Not hack Labels JW Awaiting Review
16/6/2015 hsproposals_2015-06-16-lasetcutter_alternative_funding_model DH Awaiting Committee Review
16/6/2015 hsproposals_2015-06-17-lasercutter_3_cutters_2_funding_models TGG Awaiting Committee Review
21/6/2015 Laser Extraction Extension NM Awaiting Review
4/7/2015 vinyl printed bags for makerfaire JD Awaiting Review
12/7/2015 G10 sockets TS Awaiting review

* AOB

Pre meeting preparation

Attendees

DH, RD, MV, DW

Apologies from PN

Members observing with occasional contributions:

  • Arthur A
  • Ian S
  • John D

Topics discussed

  • Fire safety
    • Noted that fire extinguishers in place, and invoice received for them - many thanks to MV for arranging this
    • Training has been requested, date TBD - most places have been filled, MV happy to keep going trying to recruit members to take part
    • Fire risk assessment has been compiled by MV and John W - many thanks again for arranging this!
    • We have signs to go by the extinguishers, and many further actions arising from risk assessment (e.g. break-glass key for main door £12, fire exit tape) - MV and JW will prioritise next steps and run past committee
    • We have a chemicals/flammables cabinet - again thanks to MV/JW
  • Insurance
    • MV: Hencilla Canworth think they can insure us but it's up to us whether we accept it - nearly organised, requires a little more information about locks to resolve - MV awaiting response from Robert
    • HC insurance can be cancelled with pro-rata refund
    • Other options they're quoting us for: tool insurance, directors' insurance
    • DH: would prefer some insurance rather than none, review once we've got some - if this policy isn't sufficient we should ditch it and get some other policy
    • MV: might be a way to move forward faster - will look to see if they can offer us public liability insurance without information about locks - Action: MV
  • Laser cutter proposals (Proposals 1, 2)
    • DW outlined 2 proposals as he understands them
    • DW summary of finances: at beginning of July £9808 in account, £2790 remaining reserve after all other reserves subtracted
    • Vote of thanks to Nic, Ross and Arthur for diligence and effort in producing first proposal
    • AA any questions? Not at this stage
    • DH: 2nd proposal owes a great deal to the 1st, but different funding model
    • Votes/supporters on proposal 1 do not currently have formal weight because proposal is not available for members to vote on
    • Discussion about whether the full remaining reserve is available for a single proposal. DH and DW currently state opposition to this.
    • MV: over 2.5yrs we've spent ~£2500, so we have about a year's worth of buffer in even the £1000. DH: that omits some payments, e.g. insurance that we've missed and other proposals we haven't spent.
    • DH would like the buffer to be bigger. £1000/yr is not enough, should be used only for small purchases like Arduinos.
    • MV: thinks we're too conservative as a committee. We have lots of money in reserve and we should be prepared to spend the remainder. There aren't any other hackspaces that have this much reserve!
    • DH: being a director is a political act, and we should feel able to express our opinions as a steering committee. DW: We have democratic accountability to the members (of Botlab, at least) through our election as directors. DH: directors should only stay in office as long as they feel they represent the membership - members moderate committee therough elections, committee moderate members as a steering committee
    • DW: raises question of Ross' spreadsheet and what it represents, given that it's not quite aligned with either of the proposals - AA says this spreadsheet was based on DH's proposal with an amended Hackspace contribution
    • DH: would be open to amending his proposal e.g. increasing initial hackspace contribution from £500 to £1000 but no more, and incorporating suggestion from Ian S about being able to sell lasercutting credit - Ross' spreadsheet shows there's high support for the system and anecdotally many others may also contribute amounts if the proposal goes through
    • Paying for hours - everyone should be given hours in return for pledges whether they want them or not
    • DH: good that large organisations pledge large amounts but also individual members' contributions are very important
    • RD: what next? DH: vote on proposals and make recommendations - DW: how to enact recommendations for changes to proposals as quickly as possible? i.e. not waiting another 3 months - can we approve a proposal conditional on making a change?
    • Views: DW: currently would reject proposal 1 due to upfront amount requested, but aware that MV said Nic wouldn't have asked for that much if he thought it would be a problem - would be prepared to “reject with recommendations”
    • DH: Problems with proposal 1: suffers from being the first proposal through the system, and thus not evolved enough yet. Proposal 2 during development took more account of members' views, proposal 1 not necessarily well justified due to way data was gathered. Specifically about earlier surveys, felt the proposal wasn't being stressed appropriately and there was unacknowledged potential for bias since the survey was undertaken to assess support for a proposal. Believes currently proposal figures are well justified but earlier in development they were not so much. Hears what MV is saying that proposal should be judged on current state.
    • MV: believes we should only consider financial viability of a lasercutter proposal because safety and building-manager acceptance is already obtained, in the form of the precedent set by the current laser cutter.
    • MV: we should vote, and perhaps apologise to Nic and others for causing them to go through so many iterations!
    • AA: on behalf of proposal 1 team he offers to drop their proposal if proposal 2 amended to £1000 contribution from Hackspace
    • AA: but what if there was a slight shortfall in pledges? would the hackspace make up the difference on top of the agreed contribution? DH: no, the membership would be asked to provide the full sum apart from what the Hackspace agreed to provide
    • AA: therefore, will not drop proposal 1
    • Votes:
      • Proposal: 1 MV and PN (voted in advance) in favour of proposal 1, RD, DH and DW against.
      • Proposal 2: unanimously approved (PN voted in advance)
    • IS: what if that change makes proposal unviable? if they don't make that
    • Recommendations:
      • Proposal 1: reduce Hackspace contribution to £1000: all present agree with this
      • Proposal 2: increase hackspace contribution to £1000: all present agree
    • MV: guidance on how much of the available surplus can be requested by a proposal? £1000, 40% of available?
    • DW: not sure it's appropriate to have hard and fast rules - depends on members' opinions - in this case members weren't unanimous they wanted to spend all the money on a lasercutter, but if they had been it would have been difficult to deny them - but at the same time we as the committee need to provide guidance to help proposers develop proposals
    • DH: maybe because members don't know the committee very well they have difficulty understanding what would be approved
    • DW: so maybe we should report individually what our rationale for making decisions is
    • Action: MV to refresh large proposal process page to clarify: all of remaining reserve is in principle available for a proposal, but unlikely a proposal would get it all if there were any dissenting voices
    • Inviting representatives of proposal teams along to committee meetings? useful, but don't want to allow canvassing
    • How about making a change to DH's proposal to allow lasercutting credit to be transferable between people? no, no changes after approval by committee - even if it doesn't affect botlab finances, or health and safety or building infrastructure?
    • Approve changes at members' meeting? Keep it simple and say it can't change.
  • Makerfaire proposal
    • RD: Given the approaching Makerfaire is everyone agreed to fund these requirements from Hackspace funds. All directors agreed. Approved.
  • Other proposals
    • It was agreed that other current proposals would be deferred until the Members' Meeting has voted on the Laser Cutter issue as many were directly or indirectly related.
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