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Hackspace members' meeting 8 April 2014


  1. Process for electing new committee at the AGM
  2. What to do with donated electronics
  3. Use of new space in G10/G11
  4. Any proposals for equipment to purchase


  • Russell D
  • Patrick N
  • David W (minute-taker)
  • Kai B
  • John D
  • Pam
  • Tom G
  • David H
  • Toby S
  • Tarim

Topics discussed

  • AGM: DW clarified situation with regards to the BOTLab AGM. Last year's AGM was on 16 April 2013, and according to our constitution this year's must be held within 6 weeks of the date of last year's. DW is currently investigating options for preparing Hackspace annual accounts for submission to Companies House; once this has been done, they can be approved at the AGM.
  • Electing a new committee at the AGM
    • DW and DH clarified the existing system: BOTLab members vote for and against each candidate, who is elected if #for > #against. This has no mechanism for regulating committee size except by limiting #candidates. Every year 1/3 of committee must step down for re-election. No aversion to increasing size of committee…
    • Concerns: system that we have favours incumbents, need to give new people a chance
    • TG: people need to understand that elections are happening and people can join the committee
    • DH: Issue with committee size - how do we regulate this?
    • Issue of new people and regulating sizes are different issues
    • Do we open up voting to the whole membership or just the people at the AGM?
    • TG: have an “associate committee” role in parallel with full committee members - give people an easy route into seeing how the committtee works - PN: perhaps treasurer needs an associate
    • 2 posts will be available at next AGM
    • ⇒ publicise better in advance of next AGM?
    • DH: Hackspace has many members who take part in running of the space/organisation without being on the committee - role of the committee is solely a way of formalising the decision-making process - ⇒ associates not really needed as yet, except for admin! ⇒ before the AGM, committee to discuss and publicise admin roles - ACTION
    • Committee also has a role for ensuring things are done - e.g. random emails from 3rd parties - could just be passed on to mailing list, but committee should filter
    • DH: perhaps there is a role for associates in taking a greater part in e.g. responding to incoming requests - “if anybody *wants* to have access to this list…” as an opt-in
    • Returning to discussion of mechanism: use counting of votes for and against, and choose people with strongest majority? but what if we have multiple unanimous votes?; people apply to specific roles? DH: important to be clear to everyone at the start of the meeting what the system is, e.g. there will be 5 committee members at the end of the meeting and votes count accordingly?
    • PN: have a set period to apply for election; if we have too many candidates *then* we decide how to deal with it?
    • TG: start by saying you have to be at the AGM to vote? With some proxy system to allow for input from people who are unable to attend?
    • TG: if we have too many candidates, get them all to cast lots for places? Only problem is if there is 1 person noone wants to work with…
    • Decision: General consensus on TG's proposal!
  • Destination of donated electronic components (bequeathed to Marcus Valentine who donated them to the Hackspace)
    • TG: has been sorting them - proposes sorting them, picking out a quantity that we could conceiveably use (of the useful ones) and sending others to other hackspaces
    • RD: improvement: before distributing them, make the unwanted ones available to hackspace members if they want for >=1week
    • RD: split up big boxes of resistors first into smaller quantities? but that's a lot of work. Or just keep them in stock if they aren't going to go off?
    • First job is to stock-take so we know what we have
    • Problems with sending to other spaces: don't know if they want them, and have to pay the postage? (get people to come and pick up their own stuff!)
    • TG: happy to sort the ICs, wants 1% resistors kept, not going to do it all! RD will help - make a spreadsheet with all items
    • 3 piles: unsorted, sorted-to-be-kept, surplus (open to membership/other hackspaces/anybody)
    • Jay points out other hackspaces are just getting started and would appreciate any donations - invite them to get in touch!
  • Donations more generally
    • TG: what do we do with other donations? do we accept them, what happens?
    • RD: what if equipment with value turns up? Would be a shame if it was just dumped…
    • Have just instituted 3 bin system - gives people 3 weeks to express interest. Is 3 weeks long enough? Esp. if we get a big donation that fills the bins?
    • PN: still in beta, will see how it works and adjust accordingly!
    • TG: what if companies tried to use us as a dumping ground? Hasn't really been a problem in the past and we do have a fairly clear policy on what we accept e.g. no CRTs!
  • Use of extra space in G10/G11
    • DH: storage boxes for members - e.g. Really Useful Boxes (strongly suggest that people use those, because they stack) - or just *require* people to use specific box
    • Jay: could get a discount if we buy in bulk - get people to express interest on mailing list
    • Shelving - should we spend money on it? Tarim: has sorted it - we have the frame parts, all we need is wood for the shelves…
    • Buy in a stack of boxes and let members pay for it? Matt V has already bought in some boxes - but maybe invest in a good system for the future. Filing cabinets as a better use of space? Not necessarily for members' personal storage
    • Size of boxes: e.g. RUB 35l & 18l half that height - ~£5 and ~£10
    • ACTION: DH to put a proposal to the mailing list
  • Additional equipment required?
    • (storage - see above)
    • RD: better chairs! something padded, more consistent… Pam: could get office chairs cheaply from auctions (BCVA business auctions in Ashton - also other things)? Diversity is good… “Contemporary and eclectic”!
    • Not enough time to get a committee decision between listing and auction - but someone could get approval to spend up to a certain amount on a certain number of chairs - RD to put a proposal to the list once he has an idea of the figures involved
    • TG: surface-mount soldering equipment? We have a hot-air rework station and Ian's toaster oven, but something a bit more professional? Nudge Ian to provide instructions on use of his oven?
    • DH: hand tools? good screwdrivers etc., tinsnips
    • DH: ask the mailing list! ACTION: DW to organise
    • RD: MarkForged carbon-fibre 3d printer?! $5000, shipping in “second half of 2014”? Tarim: suggest to Knowle West Media Centre as they have big funding…
  • BV Open Studios
    • Tarim: Happening at end of May - Weekend of 31 May/1 June
    • Good opportunity to show our work off
    • PN: make some fliers to distribute? Barney made some for the Maker Faire
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