Date, time and location: 7pm, 12 March 2019 at the Hackspace

  • AGM
    • Directors' report on previous year
    • Presentation of BOTLab annual accounts for members' approval
    • Special Resolutions to convert BOTLab to a CIC
    • Resolutions to accept new policies
    • Resolutions to accept membership guide documents
    • Appeal for members to take on special Hackspace roles and responsibilities
    • Resolution to implement card access control to Hackspace equipment
    • Resolution to terminate memberships
    • Appointment of new directors
  • Food!
  • Members' meeting (if time)
    • Incident review
    • Proposals review
    • Authorising materials for the laser cutter
    • AOB

Directors: Nick G, Russ C, Matt G, Ian AS, Toby S (minutes)

Members: 24

Apologies: Richard L

Directors' Report

Introductions to current board: Nick G (Treasurer), Russ C, Matt G, Ian AS, Toby S (minutes)

Tenant has left the corner of G11 - We are the sole occupant.

Room rearranges - significant changes after much efforts by members.

NG & members thanks to MG for his efforts on leading the room rearranges.

New purchases:

Metal lathe


CNC mill – donated & still work in progress

Vacuum former


Now recreation area


New G10 work bench

Membership work:

NG – pruning membership of lapsed persons as there were over 200 non-members on our books.

Hackspace has grown from 20 > 160

With the larger membership has required a new members agreement.

BOTLab Accounts for Year Ending 30 November 2018

NG Treasurer presented accounts

No question raised by accountants £39098 total worth of Hackspace capital and reserves Rent is our primary outgoing Elec is going up due to increased space usage and unit cost Insurance is less as it’s more tailored to hackspace needs. TG what is the depreciation length used? NG 5yrs (as before)

Passed unanimously

Accounts for approval (PDF on Dropbox).

Special Resolutions to Convert BOTLab to a CIC

NG presented outline of CIC structure.

JW why keep BOTlab at all– NG we will wrap botlab & hackspace together in terms of membership to simplify the existing arrangements.

BOT Lab name can be changed if needed for a minimum fee (£10 as of now).

NG noted that the CIC will be asset locked & we have nominated Swindon Maker Space.

NG presented the articles of assocation to the members.


That the following shall be added to the articles of association:

  1. The company name shall be changed to: Bristol Open Technology Lab C.I.C
  2. The company shall be a community interest company.
  3. The articles of association shall be altered so as to comply with requirements in connection with becoming a community interest company. The articles of association shall be altered so as to take the form of the articles of association attached to this resolution are in substitution for, and to the exclusion of, any articles of association of the company previously registered with the Registrar of Companies.

Resolution 1 – Passed unanimously

Resolution 2 – Passed unanimously

Resolution 3 – Passed unanimously

The Special Resolutions are detailed here: Special Resolution to Convert Bristol Open Technology Lab to a CIC (Word document on Dropbox)

The Articles of Association referred to in the Special Resolution are available here: Bristol Open Technology Lab CIC Articles of Association (Word document on Dropbox)

Resolutions to Accept New Policies

The directors have written new policies to cover gaps in our current policies, procedures etc.

Each of the following policies will be voted on separately. Each resolution will be to accept the policy in its current form, or to reject it.

MG explained the reasons for formulating the policies.

Larger membership makes it more difficult to hand over knowledge to new joiners and having a more coherent body of documents will help with members understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all involved.

We had no real policies to help establish appropriate behaviour, nor anything to work with if poor behaviour is experienced.

Health and Safety Policy

Health and Safety Policy on Google Docs

JW – queried the use of non qualified use of “reasonable risk”. Should we not explicity state what we find acceptable? MG – this is an attempt to move the organisation forward and not capture every possible scenario, though it it always possible to codify it further in the future.

Passed unanimously

Conduct Policy

Conduct Policy on Google Docs

MG presented the policy Alex - Last bullet is very vague “any behaviour that makes someone uncomfortable” could be open to abuse. MG - anybody trying use it to unreasonably could fall foul of the policy itself.

Passed unanimously

Complaints Policy

Complaints Policy on Google Docs

MG presented the policy

Alex – last paragraph, should we have a specific external body named – or at least another hackspace.

NG – the directors can engage outside bodies or be compelled to do so by a vote at a membership meeting so no need to be specific in the policy

Passed unanimously

Resolutions to Accept Membership Guide Documents

In response to comments that much of the information necessary to use Hackspace is currently unwritten, the directors have produced a new membership guide which details how we expect members to use the space and what members can expect in return for their membership payments. Each of the following documents will be voted on separately. Each resolution will be to accept the document in its current form, or to reject it.

Please note that these guides represent an effort to codify the current established but unwritten best practice, rather than the introduction of new rules or procedures.

0. Hackspace Rules
1. Safe Working Guide

1. Safe Working Guide on Google Docs

JW Minor change to YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE… to clarify about being responsible for other’s safety

IAS Minor changes to explain more about making safe any hazards. TG reporting risks should include notes on equipment to alert the next member.

MG - accepted to be included in next draft

Passed unanimously

2. Membership Guide

2. Membership Guide on Google Docs

MG set out key points. JW - Why no part about requiring a BV card. NG - BV card only required for access to the space, not membership per se. MG - Membership application will in future have a more integrated process to tie Hackspace & BV applications into one process & automatically trigger applying for a BV card.

Passed unanimously

3. Fair Use of Hackspace

3. Fair Use of Hackspace on Google Docs

MG explained the reasoning behind this. We have in the past had members who virtually lived in the space. KB – noted that in that event people could be at a loww ebb and to treat anyone in the situation with compassion in the first instance. IAS add consider being a director to the list of 4 things you can give back.

Passed unanimously

4. Guests and Children Guide

4. Guests and Children Guide on Google Docs

MG presented the policy JW make it clearer that hackspace is a workshop and there may be things that could harm pets or children as they may not be as clean as a home.

Passed unanimously

5. Stuff, Storage, and Stickers Guide

5. Stuff, Storage, and Stickers Guide on Google Docs

MG set out the policy & it’s roots in the rearranges of g10 & g11 JW - add consumables to top level as point 4. JW - add link to label system MG - label document has fallen to the wayside and needs revamping so not linked in this version

Passed unanimously

6. BV Studios Guide

6. BV Studios Guide on Google Docs

MG set out the policy

TG - there is extra signage above the bins that clarifies / contradicts the other BV information

JW - fire alarm doesn't alert authorities so add call fire brigade

MG - noted for next revision

Passed unanimously

Appeal for Members to Take On Special Hackspace Roles and Responsibilities

Roles to include:

  • A champion for each “large” machine (maintenance and inductions)
  • Inductors
  • G10 workshop champion (hand tools, consumables, storage, cleaning)
  • G11 test equipment champion
  • PR champion (social media, contact emails)
  • Public engagement champion (skillshares, Dorkbot, HackKids)

To also include a call-to-arms for metal lathe and CNC mill commissioning.

NG explained the ideas behind the extra potential roles, them not being envisioned as being the sole person responsible for something, more a point of contact or person with an overview of the tasks required. Please contact the Directors or Group to get in touch if you are interested.

Resolution to Implement Card Access Control

A small team has been prototyping a card access control system that will prevent unauthorised use of Hackspace equipment. This resolution will be a simple yes/no to authorise implementing it on all induction-protected Hackspace equipment and any other equipment the membership may request.

MG explained that the current single system on the laser is ageing. We have other items that could use a system and there is a need for a simple “drop in” solution to be available.

Team members:
Russ - hardware
Felix - software
Matt - database
Nick - purchasing & cheer-leading

Felix - smaller easier & cheaper than existing system, not tied to BV wifi. Will record usage in real time and will collect metrics even for non billable items. Demonstrated the system with the old 3d printer.

Russ - it’s designed as a dumb easily replaceable unit & could be replaced with an off the shelf spare. Component sourcing is kept as simple as possible using common items and recognised suppliers (eg farnell) for safety critical parts.

MG - possibility to add them to Nick M’s area in G10 to protect his machines from unauthorised usage.

Tim - is this tamper proof? MG not really possible to defeat a determined hacker. It would be in clear violation of hackspace policies to defeat any system.

Alex - what if a card is forgotten? NG - that lies with the member, no shared cards to borrow.

Proposed time-frame for the first full unit is in the level of a month or two.

JW - what about backups?

MG - plan to make the database backup external machine so it can be restored.

Tim - is there a mission creep for this induction machine that would make the space annoying to use?

MG - possibly but it is top ensure the safety of members. A future idea to be able to self certify on the more basic machines which allows a quicker more flexible approach to allowing access to machines.

Ryan - this can help to move the risk from the hackspace to the end user, i.e. if you can't use it safely you shouldn't be able to.

Pam - some people have trouble reading so these written inductions could present problems and barriers to using the space.

IAS - people requiring the extra support can always ask for additional help, or have an oral induction.

MG - we should have an accessibility statement and work towards helping those who have difficulty and making sure nobody feels embarrassed to ask for support.

Vote to proceed and implement system

Passed unanimously

Resolution to Terminate Memberships

The directors have made a list of people who were recorded as members but have failed to meet the requirements of membership (namely, paying regular membership fees). This resolution is to approve the termination of these memberships. The list will only be provided at the AGM as hard copies to ensure the identities of the people involved are not distributed. Members at the AGM will be given time to review the list before we vote on the resolution.

TG - concerned that he recognised a name. NG & RC many efforts have been made to contact that individual and explain the situation. TS - this is not a blacklist, people can always re-apply. NG - this needs doing under GDPR at least, we can't just keep the data.

Passed unanimously

Spontaneous applause for NG’s considerable efforts.

Appointment of New Directors

Two directors are stepping down, so we need two members to replace them. Email the directors if interested.

IAS & TS standing down - cue applause!

Tarim - longest serving director requires re-election too.

RC standing down as per regulations being the oldest Director

Statements from new candidates

Ryan  - teaching & film background and heavily involved in the workshop area.Thinks hackspace is a good thing
Felix  -member for over a year, involved in the re-arrange days and really enjoyed it and want to give more

Ryan & Felix & Russ proposed as a block vote.

Passed unanimously

More applause

Thanks given to departing and continuing committee members

Members meeting adjourned until further date by unanimous decision

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