Annual General Meeting (AGM) - 21st September 2022

:loudspeaker: Annual General Meeting 2022 (AGM) - Minutes below

Date: Wednesday 21st September 2022 19:00
Location: Hackspace Manchester, Wellington House, M40 7FS
Web link: TBA on Google Hangouts - The meeting will be hybrid, please come to the space if you are able.

Edit: This was a member’s meeting, but has now been upgraded to an AGM and the post has been edited.

Hello All,

Please come and join us for our AGM. It will be a good chance to meet the new board, discuss any matters and learn about the happenings in the space, both in the past 12 months, and as we look forward to the next. It will be hosted physically in the space, but with the option to join via Google Hangouts.

Board Elections

There will be 2 spots on the board of directors up for grabs. You will be able to stand for nomination on the night, giving a speech if you so wish, and should you receive the support of at least one other member you will be able to stand for the election which will take place over the following 2 months.

The board do not currently have defined roles, but meet approximately once a month to discuss the running of the space and any issues arising. We ensure the space fulfils it’s legal requirements. If you have any further questions, want to discuss it online, or in person email


To add your own points, please reply to this thread. Items posted immediately before the meeting may not be included. Please leave at least 24h when adding an item. We expect there might be a fair amount to cover in this meeting. If it comes to it, we may need to prioritise the agenda to keep the meeting a reasonable length.

Voting by proxy

All members are welcome to attend the general meeting and if unable to do so may appoint a proxy please follow the process as outlined in the constitution available at Constitution - Hackspace Manchester Documentation

Team Year Summaries

  • Board
  • Finances
  • Outreach
  • Metalwork
  • Woodwork
  • Visual Arts

Board Nominations

Member submitted items

Items raised in this thread can be considered for AOB.

  • Incident reporting
  • Data Protection
  • Storage Auditing
  • Member inductions/Open Evenings
  • Communication with members
  • Purchase proposal/procurement system
  • Cleanliness of the space
  • Building Tenancy
  • AOB


  1. When raising a point, try to include a solution rather than (re)stating a problem.
  2. Solutions often require individual commitment, are you prepared to own it and make it happen?
  3. Team updates should be 2 mins each max.


In person: Michael Hindley, Joe Christian, Ray Boruch, Bart Kantorowski, Alex Bennett, Paula Mesa, Dominique Carroll, Frank Hall, Yigit Tatlipinar, Stephen Aylwin, Ellis Ley, Patrick Good
Online: Richard Westwell, Ben Dooks, Ellan Pearce, Guy Powell, Chris Murray

Team Year Summaries

  • Board

    • The board now has 3 members (Joe Christian, Frank Hall, Ellan Pearce).
    • It has taken longer than expected for the new board to take ownership of all the systems and get access to various IT/accounts.
    • The board has started to look at health and safety processes and communication with members.
  • Finances

    • Frank is gradually gaining access to bank accounts from the previous board.
    • Current balance (Sep 2022 is c. £21k.
    • Annual income is c. 37k, outgoings c. £32k. £25k of that goes towards our main costs of rent/service charges/utilities. We also had a £750 fine for late filing of accounts and £700 on insurance. Apart from the fine, there were no other standout expenses.
    • Majority of income is from subs, which is a potentially volatile situation given the cost of living, etc.
    • Suggest current membership level is about right or subscription rates could be increased slightly.
    • It would be a good idea to look at recent sign-up data to see what people are choosing.
    • Our cash balance is only healthy because of previous COVID grants. These have created an artificial sense of financial security.
    • Takeaway: we’re manging with costs, but we are vulnerable if costs go up or membership goes down.
  • Outreach

    • Newsletter is now in production with a rough 6-weekly schedule. There is a desire to make this opt-out rather than opt-in.
    • It has been brought to our attention that some of our comms channels are inactive: the website contact form appears offline and Insta looks inactive.
      ACTION: Outreach team to investigate dead channels.
  • Metalwork

    • There have been some recent issues with tools being misused or damaged, and the team has taken steps to prevent this happening again.
    • The team is also developing a metal workshop induction which will live online and gate access to the angle grinder and bandsaw.
    • Construction of the welding room is temporarily on hold due to costs, although we may have found a solution, but it requires liaising with a supplier of fans.
  • Woodwork

    • The team has continued to make progress developing training programmes for tools. This now represents the “gold standard” for training in the space in terms of documentation and audit trails.
    • Dust extraction and physical infrastructure of woodwork continues to improve, which in turn will help tidiness and cleanliness.
  • Visual Arts

    • We need more 3D print inductors. Setup is a struggle. Alex is constrained for time.
    • The laser works fine, but there is a big gap between training requests and ability to fulfil.
    • Joe asks: can we get more inductors?
    • At the moment there is no “visual arts team” in the same sense that these exist for wood and metal. Richard Westwell and Steven Aylwin are interested.
      ACTION: Interested members should form a team. Mike to post forum post.
  • Lab

    • The lab needs more gloves (ACTION: Alex to request from board).
    • Alex will soon be doing some classes in the lab.
    • The lab thanks everyone for their recent support.
    • Alex would like a lab section in forum (ACTION: Alex to speak to Conor about this)

Board Nominations

  • The board can have up to 5 members. Though there are currently 3.
  • As the current board are stretched, nominations are sought.
  • The more work people are willing to put in, the easier the job gets for each board member. It could be as little as 4h per month.
  • Dominique Carroll and Patrick Good were nominated and seconded.
    ACTION: Board will independently elect nominated members to board as per constitution. These newly elected members will stand down and must be re-elected at the next AGM to continue.

Member submitted items

Items raised in this thread can be considered for AOB.

  • Incident reporting

    • Members have reported not knowing how to report incidents (accidents, breakages, problems) leading to problems going unreported (and therefore unfixed). Problems not being reported also means that those who come to fix them don’t know why or when the breakage occurred, adding further difficulty.
    • We now have an accident reporting book, which lives in the filing cabinet at the rear of the space. This has not been communicated wit hthe membership.
    • Joe has suggested a system whereby a QR code is posted around the space. Users can scan it to go to a Google form where they can anonymously report inicidents.
    • ACTION: Joe to initiate setting up a system whereby people report an accident or a problem with a tool.
  • Data protection

    • We do not have a data protection officer, nor do we pay the ICO an annual fee. We may be in breach of our obligations under GDPR.
      ACTION: Mike to reach out via forum to seek help from membership
  • Storage Auditing

    • Several issues were raised:
      • Members misusing large members’ storage
      • A lack of (small) members’ storage slots (may be a future issue)
      • More frequent Hack the Space days where storage will be policed (Mike to organise)
      • Joe to make a rule sheet for large members’ storage explaining how it works (label printing, etc.)
      • Board to consider purchase of more racking for future capacity
  • Member inductions/Open Evenings

    • It was raised that anyone can join the space and get in without physically having met any other member or even communicating with other members (due to access codes).
    • This can lead to several things:
      • New members don’t understand the general rules of the space (although it was pointed out that they must accept the space rules online when signing up)
      • They can use some tools with no induction or gates (some wood saws, for example)
      • People don’t understand the ethos of the space where participation is encouraged, leading to mixed expectations of what the space is (i.e. a community rather than a service)
    • Joe suggested disabling the provision of access codes to new members. New members must come in person to activate a fob (as before), and after that they can request a code.
    • When activating a fob, the member meeting them should go through some ground rules
    • Open evenings will remain a good option for new members to come and activate fobs/get a feel for the space
      • Joe to liaise with Conor (and others?) to make changes to access system
      • Joe to produce crib sheet for inducting new members/guiding people at open evenings
  • Communication with members

    • Comms has been sporadic from board in the past.
    • Joe has been using forum quite a bit, though unsure how much engagement this gets.
    • The newsletter is designed to mitigate this somewhat, but moving this to opt-out rather than opt-in would reach all members. Currently only 30 or so receive it.
      ACTION: Mike to look at making the newsletter opt-out.
  • Purchase proposal/procurement system

    • Members have commented that they have wanted to help the space by buying supplies but did not know what the system was to reclaim spend from the board.
    • Overall, the sentiment was that targeted spend on broken or damaged items would have a positive knock-on effect by increasing engagement in the space, member acquisition and retention, and overall morale.
    • Joe has made a proposal:
      • Allocate budgets to each team
      • Formalise the procurement process with large, medium, small and micro purchases each having a different value and requiring a different level of board scrutiny.
      • Formalised consumables lists. It was pointed out that these exist. Mike to liaise with Joe here.
  • Cleanliness of the space

    • The usual discussion was had regarding cleanliness (people do not adequately clean the space).
      ACTION: Joe intends to buy dustpans, brushes, brooms, etc. for cleaning stations per workshop.
  • Building Tenancy

    • Our current tenancy at Wellington House expires in 18 months.
    • The board have been reviewing available options for either extending the contract or moving to a new site.
    • In the interests of protecting our commercial interests, a separate post will be made on the forum.
  • “Gig” work

    • Alex remarked that a member (Cameron) helps members at Leeds Hackspace to secure “gig” work making props and other items for street events in Leeds.
    • The fees paid can be split between the maker-member and the hackspace at an agreed rate for each job.
    • Alex believes that someone in Manchester will be responsible for organising similar events, but that this is not the responsibility of the council
      ACTION: Alex/Cameron to investigate whether such a scheme would be feasible in Manchester and submit information to the board.
  • AOB

    • Alex believes that the space should have higher-speed internet.
    • He believes this would cost £20 pcm.
    • Right now, it is believed that we pay £0 for our internet access.
      ACTION: Alex to submit in writing a costed proposal to the board, including a quote from the provider of fibre internet mentioned.

Weather permitting, my intention is to bring my Ooni pizza oven and some dough to make pizzas just outside the space on the street from 17:30ish, on a bring your own toppings basis.

Though I have done plenty of group catering, please note I don’t have any formal food hygine training and eating the pizzas will be at your own risk


I know you are super busy @OliBenson, but your input/direction at the March meeting was beyond helpful. Would be great if you could pass any notes from that on. Some of the governance and constitutional points were very important, but the finer detail escaped many of us.

Other than that, and I know it’s a horrible subject, but data protection. We do not have a data protection officer, which is a legal requirement.


Topic - auditing of storage.

We also need to practice auditing storage - both large project and normal. We have done this before but it’s an effort. It involves checking the membership system, and adding a sign to items not registered, requesting they register a space or the items will be moved.

For large storage it would involve adding a sign to projects that aren’t labeled correctly.

I don’t know how we verify that projects are actively being worked on, though.


I would like to discuss the way we induct members/run tours of the space/open evenings generally.

I would also like to discuss how we communicate with members.


Me again, I’d like to discuss our purchase proposal/procurement system and also the cleanliness of the space.

Another item -

The board are currently engaging with the landlord about renewing the lease for another 5 year period. The lease is currently due to end in April 2024. I believe the landlords proposal is that to renew for another 5 years, we would be terminating our existing contract early, and beginning a new one - at the new monthly rent price. Down side is that our monthly costs would likely increase, up side is that our future would be more secure.

I’ve asked if we can get their proposal in time for our meeting, but we will see. Until then not really much point discussing it, particularly not on this thread which should be AGM stuff only.


Joe with a director hat on.


That’s amazing, Joe, thanks. Yes, security of premises is one of our big issues, IMO :slight_smile:

@Josephxtian do you mind if I chair this? A lot of the topics have the potential to become very unwieldy discussions and I’m happy to shout at people to keep the meeting short.

Sure can do. Could you provide a laptop to host the online bit of the meeting? I have a webcam and a projector that has HDMI inputs.

Can do. I have a Mac with one HDMI port – is the webcam USB?

Yes it is. If it’s going to be an issue i could bring my work laptop thinking about it.

I think a backup is never a bad idea. Shall I formalise an agenda in this thread?

Yes please, that would be good.

Is there any way I can get access to the top post? It’s all there really. I just want to ensure some housekeeping rules.

  1. If you raise a point, try to include a solution rather than (re)stating a problem.
  2. If you suggest a solution, are you prepared to own it and make it happen?
  3. Let’s limit updates in section 1 to 2 mins max.
  4. I don’t think there’s a ‘membership’ team per se, is there?
  5. Do we need to distribute the agenda by email before the meeting?
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An email has been sent out to all members of the space containing the google meets link if you cannot attend the AGM in the space tonight.

The meeting will begin at 19:00.

If you haven’t been sent a link please email

See you all later

Joe with a director hat on.

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item - the internet sucks can we get hooked up to the fiber connection to the weligtion house pictured here

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was this recorded?

No, but the minutes will be out v. soon (24h or so)

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Minutes have now been added to the original post above. It is preferred if any further discussion on these points is raised in its own thread.

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