Board Meeting Minutes - September 2021

Hackspace Manchester Board Meeting Minutes

18th September 2021

Present Members

Ellen, Grayson, Mark, Rossy

Meeting Starts 20:40 - Chaired by Mark


The Hackspace board is comprised of current members who volunteer their time with the intention of acting for the good of the community. It does not involve compensation, nor remuneration. Whilst these things aren’t sought the board would like to encourage members to bear in mind that this can sometimes be a responsibility of little gratification and to request that they be considerate and constructive in their feedback or criticism.


  1. Health & Safety
  2. Outreach
  3. Finance
  4. Membership
  5. Members Survey
  6. Members Storage
  7. Election
  8. Board Process Changes
  9. Landlord Communication
  10. Waste
  11. GitHub usage
  12. Kiosk

1. Health & Safety

  • Ellen has begun writing up the outstanding risk assessments and is filing them on the google drive with the others. Link: Risk Assessments – Google Drive

    • Ellen will be pushing for the membership to begin helping to develop these as we need people with hands on experience and know-how to help write them.
  • Ellen will begin contacting organisations to see if they can come provide health and safety training at the space, such as St Johns or Red Cross.

2. Outreach

  • Grayson will write a plan for the outreach team to begin increasing awareness of the space.

    • Outreach team to look at what the space wants to achieve by contacting other organisations, such as being able to offer help/services.
    • The outreach team has a list of universities and organisations that they intend to start contacting.
    • Proposal to create some general information flyers in a similar format to the welcome flyers that can be posted around at local places for people to see/take.
    • Anyone interested in helping should contact Grayson on telegram (@GraysonGreyson) or via email (
  • Changes to Covid rules in September mean open evening can start again.

    • Official reopening evening proposed for Wednesday 29th September.
    • Further details will be posted on the forum by Grayson at a later date.

3. Finance

  • The hackspace is operating at a loss and has been acknowledged by the Board as an urgent matter that needs addressing.

    • The space currently does not earn enough revenue from membership fees to cover the main three bills (Rent, Service Charge and Electricity fees).
    • Other forms of income while part of the financial wellbeing of the space are not being considered here as they cannot be considered as reliable/consistent.
    • The space currently has £16.141 in the bank account as of Saturday 18th September.
  • The finance team will be asked to look into ways to push more information about the space’s finances to the membership on a regular basis.

4. Membership

  • The board would like to ask that all members who currently pay less that the £12.50 minimum membership fee to look at raising it.

5. Members Survey

  • The board are in the stage of writing the ‘annual’ members survey.

    • First draft proposed for Saturday 25th September.
    • Board refine the questions with Rossy creating a questionnaire for members.
    • This will be emailed to all members.
  • Part of the survey will be asking members about their occupation and skill set. We rely on members helping to run the space and would benefit being able to work out who we can contact when requiring specialist help.

6. Members Storage

  • The board is proposing to set up a three-month audit process for storage in the space as we are struggling to keep on top of stuff being left in the space.

    • An audit team will be formed by Rossy with the intent to start managing storage going forward.
    • Members interested in helping should message Rossy on either Telegram (@itsRossy) or via email (
  • To kick this off a big clear out will be held on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th November where the space will seek to get rid of items that have been stored well past their DNH date.

    • We would like to ask that members utilise the time before then to look at removing items they own that they believe to be at risk of binning.
    • During the two-day event Rossy & helpers will attempt to contact members with expired DNH’s where possible.
    • The board would like to request all members take note of this date and if available at any time please come help, we would also like to ask those with cars & vans if they would be willing to help do tip runs on the day to give us the opportunity to remove times from the space.
    • Emails regarding this will be sent by Rossy to all members as we are aware not everyone utilises Telegram or the Forum.
    • Notable violations of the storage rules the board are considering several options on how to proceed. Attempts have been made to contact the member about their items with no apparent success. The options are:
      • Bin the items.
      • Enquire to other members / museums (situational) if they would be interested in taking the items.
      • Move items in to private storage facility and charge owner storage fees.
  • Mark hopes to have the racking for members storage completed ASAP prior to this event to help with members organising their belongings.

7. Election

  • As the end of the election year approaches the board are asking Greg to be the returning officer and manage the election process.

    • Grayson has completed her two-year term and has expressed interest in standing again. Grayson will remain a board member until the end of the election depending on the results.
    • Mark has notified the board of his intent to step down citing possibility of moving outside of Manchester for work in the upcoming months. Mark will step down as a board member at the beginning of the election.
  • The board have decided to retain the seven seats as per last years election, this means there will be four vacancies for seats on the board.

8. Board Process Changes

  • In 2019 a group of members put forward changes to the rules/governance of the space they would like to see take place.

    • The board are acknowledging that its is a slow progress but believe these changes are being worked on.

9. Landlord Communication

  • In a bit to improve transparency the board will start posting communication emails with the Landlord (Northern Group) on to the forum.

    • Member can only contact the landlord under emergency circumstances.

10. Waste

  • Mark has cancelled the skip.

  • Northern contacted all tenants in May 2021 advising them that the communal bins will no longer accept Wood (timber), Saw dust, Metal or swarf. General waste items such as fizzy drink cans are permissible however.

  • Grayson would like to propose that the space begins offering recycling bins to members, currently there are no recycling facilities at the mill.

    • Official changes to the rules regarding waste and what can go in the bins is currently on hold until Grayson has completed the recycling proposal.

11. GitHub usage

  • Board minutes will now be posted on the forum to improve clarity and ease of access for members.

    • GitHub will still be utilised as the official method of archiving minutes as Google Docs is not seen as a long-term viable option.

12. Kiosk

  • The board would like to ask members to help develop and test the kiosk.

    • It is currently lacking features (new items, stock check, auto data push, etc) that we would like to see implemented but as Rossy is one of the only people working on it this is taking longer than planned.
    • The kiosk also needs help from members to ‘stress’ test the coding and find/fix bugs. As it manages funds it is critical it operates correctly as we have had reports of members balances not updating correctly.