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Your role in winning the Government’s help

It is of huge importance that we appear to have a champion for our industry in government

Even with a general election pending - and the chance of a new political party in residence in Downing Street next year - there is still plenty of time for the Government to do something to help the fashion and textile sector.

The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has already sent written presentations to business minister Lord Mandelson about the problems arising over trade credit insurance. While changes have been made, they have done little to help our members.

However, in an attempt to cover all bases and ensure the sector is on the radar of relevant departments, we decided to get UKFT’s voice heard within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

UKFT director general John Wilson and I secured a face-to-face meeting with minister for culture and tourism Lady Hodge.

In it, we were able to outline the importance of the fashion and textile sector to the UK economy and in which areas firms needed help. We also stressed the vital need for government support in training and education.

The issue of trade credit insurance touched a nerve and the minister asked for the information we had and any recent examples of where the current legislation is preventing companies from doing business - hopefully Drapers readers will continue to send us examples so we can forward them to Lady Hodge and her team.

It is of huge importance that we appear to have a champion for our industry within government and we will make sure we update the minister with these issues.

Even if there is a change in government in 2010, at least the influential civil servants know what our sector needs to remain healthy and successful, so there’s everything to gain from wooing this Government.

Peter Lucas is chairman of the UK Fashion and Textile Association

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