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BOTLab committee meeting 11 October 2016

Date/time and location: 7pm, 11 October 2016 at the Hackspace


  • Members' attendance at meetings (DW)
  • Clarifying to members what space we are allowed to use (DW)
  • Access to insurance documents (DW)
  • Review of proposals pending approval (DW)
  • Clarifying status of policy on children (DH)


  • AA, DH, IS, DW (minutes-taker)
  • Apologies: RD, TS

Topics discussed

  • Review of proposals pending approval
    • Drill batteries - approved by committee already on mailing list (still need 1 member) - Action: DW to request another member's support
    • Storage boxes - approved!
  • Micro purchase mechanism
    • Currently quite difficult to get approval to buy “cheap” items - need to make it easier for members to do what needs to be done, but still need some approval to govern spending of money
    • Range: £0 to £50
    • Approval: 2 committee + 2 members, mailing list only i.e. no need to write up on the wiki
    • Action: To be ratified at next members meeting
  • Members' attendance at meetings
    • AA: could set up a Mailchimp list just for announcements
    • DH: prefer to make one list people *want* to join rather than many that people try to avoid - make members' meetings about empowerment, what people *can* do rather than what they *can't* - sort things out and move the conversation on
    • RussC (drop-in): have discussion on Thursdays? DW: conflict with other Thursday night activities, non-members present etc.
    • DW: combine members' meeting with a presentation like Dorkbot?
    • DH: make the agenda things people want to talk about, not boring things
    • IS: are members using the hackspace as a “service”, rather than a community? Should we ask people to contribute their time as well as money?
    • RC: previously there were group Hackspace projects that brought people into the space. IS: we couldn't make it an obligation. AA: common project would bring community together. Would also help with BV Open Studios. DH: Good theme should be stimulating but not too prescriptive. AA: People like projects that are socially conscious, technically challenging, artistic. DH: Maybe with AtBristol? RSewell got money from EMFCamp for an installation there. But low pressure. Aim for 20 people involved? DH: Raise at members meeting, try to make this the interesting topic of discussion to encourage people to attend - Action: Add to agenda
  • Clarifying to members what space we are allowed to use
    • Space we shouldn't use: the kitchen and corridors i.e. shouldn't leave bikes in the corridor
    • How to resolve? Need to update poster on door in G11 (and signage in general) - Action: AA will look at this after end of Nov, IS to help
    • Also send message to mailing list - Action: DW
    • Also add to wiki for good measure - Action: DW
  • Access to insurance documents
    • Agreement that we should put the certificate up in the space and on the wiki, and keep the policy wording available to committee to forward on to interested parties - Action: DW to display details as appropriate
  • Clarifying status of policy on children
    • Was put forward for approval at previous members' meeting but not enough attendance to approve
    • Action: Roll over to next members' meeting
  • Other
    • Need a flowchart to show how purchasing system works (both before and after introduction of micro-purchase proposals) - Action: DW
    • LiPo batteries in the hackspace
      • People have started leaving them here, which is a risk…
      • Provide flameproof storage for members - Action: AA to scope out
      • Ban bigger than a certain capacity in mAh? Don't want to limit people's ability to do projects
      • Alternative: Have a policy on responsibility around batteries
      • How about, have a set of rules and say people can go beyond them with permission from the committee? - Action: DW to draft policy
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