Welcome to the Bristol Hackspace Wiki

BOTLab committee meeting 13 December 2016

Date/time and location: 7pm, 13 December 2016 at Grounded coffee shop


  • Charging for laser cutter usage
  • Group/corporate membership
  • Booking space in the Hackspace for set periods
  • Glass door (RFID) lock
  • Adverse member behaviour
  • Membership rules
  • Hardinge lathe
  • AOB
    • AGM and election of committee - process


  • All committee: IS, DH, AA, RD, TS, DW

Topics discussed

  • Charging for laser cutter usage
    • Discussion on the mailing list, and the issue of the failing laser cutter PSU, has highlighted that we should focus on collecting usage charges for the laser cutter.
    • AA: For what period should we charge: 2016? Or Dec 2015-Nov 2016?
    • How do we rationalise/audit pledges and usage to date? Suggestion: self-audit - we bill members for what we believe is their usage, if they quibble then ask them to prove they've paid. Would be sorted soon - AA will download usage logs and analyse.
    • IS: Joe E seems frustrated at the current situation of the server/logging system (currently running on his server) - why? AA: he has user access but not root access to our VPS.
    • IS: What's the solution for the future? AA: has started buying parts for a second RFID card reader to allow people to top-up their cards. Will be cheaper than the first (£40 not £100).
    • Joe E's views as to what we need: list of pledges, second RFID reader, secure network
    • DH: We don't control the network so we can't make it secure. Therefore we should use a paper-based system, potentially as an interim measure: users write time in a logbook and put money in envelopes to pay for their usage every month - IS: but this adds work for committee to go through the logbook and confirm the amounts add up. - AA: Could be semi-automated by putting money in envelopes but also entering amounts paid into online system. Also write down the time used/paid for. TS: Users log usage anyway via card. DH: If we have electronic counting and cash in parallel, need to ensure the two amounts reconcile. Could be done quarterly or thereabouts.
    • IS: Don't go for an intermediate system because it'll take effort to implement, go straight for a final electronic system - AA: but some people won't like having to make payments electronically.
    • IS: Defer decision between paper/cash and electronic systems to a members' meeting.
    • AA: initial step is charge people for the past, then start implementing a new system for the future. We can keep a cash system as a backup. we keep name and email address in a database anyway.
    • Even if logging and billing is electronic, how do we actually collect payments? Some people don't want to use Paypal but everyone uses banks transfer to pay membership contribution. IS: Maybe just settle up infrequently, via bank transfer. AA: If there were monthly emails with usage that month, these might get lost. IS: So add up the monthly amounts, and once outstanding balance reaches a certain threshold then email committee to pursue the person or ultimately cut off their card if unable to pay.
    • Action: Take to members' mtg in Jan, decide between electronic and potential cash system.
    • AA: Don't stop members working on cash based systems. At the end of this year we'll send emails covering usage of this day. Cutoff time? Ideally before members' meeting. Say just before Christmas and process.
    • DW: How do we set the initial credit balances? It's not respectful to demand money from members people if they contributed a lot, but not confident that pledges were collected. Action: DW to check through spreadsheets and reconcile with bank statements. AA: will write an email template to provide a statement of current balance.
    • Balance transfer mechanism: should be allowed but de-prioritised, maybe bring up at members' meeting.
    • AA: Joe E would like access to VPS to do good system. Keep for later but needs to be resolved
  • Group/corporate membership
    • DH: unwilling to go for corporate/group membership due to lack of traceability - standing orders are the standard record of who is a member - important for insurance definitions - and standing orders are good because they don't require the committee to chase things
    • TS: Wat does membership provide? usage of tools? DH: if not formally a member, not covered by insurance
    • DW: currently there are some people who don't ay monthyl - people who are from overseas make a one-off payment to cover set period.
    • DH: Concerned that unspecified individual members allows informality and sets a precedent for people to make abuse of the space.
    • DW: Some existing members make a joint payment anyway e.g. husband and wife
    • DH: All the systems need to be like the Augean Stables - self organising and scalable to 150-200 people
    • ⇒ We will allow a single payment to cover multiple named individuals, and the onus is on the member to prove their membership by stating when their membership payment was made and the account it was made from. We do not allow umbrella payments to cover unspecified groups of people.
    • IS: Robert the building owner's perspective? DH: Robert saw many people joining the space he didn't know, so increased the fee for the card to £40.
    • IS: Rationale for refusing group membership: membership is not about providing a service, it's about becoming part of a community. And also unidentified individuals not covered by insurance policy.
    • DH: Need to be clearer about benefits of membership. Provides benefits but also helping the space to grow.
    • Payments for more than a month: yes we will allow an upfront payment for >1month, but only up to 1 year and specify the time period upfront.
    • Minimum amounts for membership payments: we will genuinely allow members to pay any amount, no minimum. IS: Souldn't we enforce a minimum amount, otherwise people will just free-ride? DH: Not concerned because monthly financial statement shows increasing membership amounts, if amount was decreasing then would be more concerned.
    • Discussion about paying for accountant to reduce load on treasurer
    • DH: Need to keep systems under control
    • IS: Lots of things have been done this year - insurance,
    • Short term? People used to pay into box. (Punted)
  • Booking space in the Hackspace for set periods
    • IS: Came up because of tonight, but people didn't look at the calendar. Issue: can anyone disallow access to the space, book excludes members from accessing the space? Ans: no as it's a community organisation. Can announce on members' list with reasonably amont of time and ask committee to put on calendar. Exceptopm: booking time on laser cutter?
    • What about activities that are incompatible, e.g. Christmas party and use of heavy machinery? Answer: people have to talk to each other and compromise, noone can monopolise the use of the space. Agreed unanimously.
    • Access to calendar: DW currently has access to calendar and has given other people access. IS: would be good to put items in the calendar to show activity - skill shares, LAN evening.
  • Glass door (RFID) lock
    • Concern that keys to back door into outside world are proliferating, risk is that we could suffer loss
    • DH: Historically we believe some members have duplicated keys for the outside
    • DH: Proposes replacing the barrel on the lock at least to make the old keys invalid
    • DH: Robert would like an Abloy security lock as described here
    • IS: Door stays open if you push it all the way open ask locksmith to resolve
    • Voted unanimously to fit a new Abloy security lock on the outside lock - Action: IS to email Tarim to ask if he is happy to liaise with Robert, and will let members know - DH: Thinks it would be good to have someone outsid ethe committee to follow this
    • Who gets the keys?
    • AA: Who buys the lock? - IS: Locksmith will buy it and invoice us
    • IS: What about RFID? DH: Cost is much higher, and hackspace is not *that* big yet. And members have to have a £40 card. IS: but members have to pay £40 already to get in out of hours
    • IS: What happens on Thursday nights if people want to defeat it, or in the summer time if people want to keep the door open? Ans: On Thursdays just open it and pay for a doorbell, if too hot prop it open but then it's obvious it's open.
  • Adverse member behaviour
    • DW: previous issue, has been taken up
    • RD: Unacceptable behaviour referred to committee? Potentially leading to membership revocation?
    • DH: Frame in positive fahsion: All members are expected to behave in a respectful fashion -
    • AA: Is there any liability for committee? Ans: we don't believe so
    • IS: If members can't resolve between themselves they can escalate to committee member - this happened in this case
    • Person in question tried to look for code of conduct on wiki but couldn't, offered to draft
  • Membership rules
    • …previous issue brings up wider issue of
    • RD: we have some topics:
    • ⇒defer to members meeting
  • Hardinge lathe
    • DW: concerned that the machine will not have the amount of use that would justify its support reqts - likewise worried about this (and others) - may be better to choose something more manageable
    • IS: Action: have a chat with John but take forward ot members' meeting
  • AOB
    • AGM and election of committee - process
      • DW: AGM set for February
      • TS: really need people to put themselves forward for committee
      • AA: offers to set up a Mailchimp list to send a one-way quarterly newsletter -
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