§ Mr. Battle
[holding answer 18 March 1999]: The DTI is currently funding around twenty projects to encourage the growth and competitiveness of the UK textiles and clothing industry. These projects cover research into product innovation and development, design, education and training, benchmarking and the development of supply chain partnerships. In addition, 770 textiles, clothing and footwear companies benefited from trade fair support last year. My Department is also supporting the recently formed industry-led Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group, which aims to develop a strategy for the long term sustainable development of the industry.
§ Mr. Woolas
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many meetings there have been of the clothing and textile industry actions group; on what dates; who was in attendance; what progress has been made; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what issues are being considered by the Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group. 
§ Mr. Battle
The Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group (TCSG) is an industry-led body resulting from a joint management/union initiative. It is looking at long-term competitiveness issues affecting the UK textiles and clothing industry. In response to a request to the Chairman of the TCSG, James McAdam CBE (BATC), I am able to say that the TCSG meets on a monthly basis and, over the coming months, intends to look at a number of issues including: international productivity comparisons, supply chain relations, human resources (training, recruitment and skills), product development, investment, technological development, and design and marketing. As well as James McAdam, the membership of the TCSG includes Peter Aubusson (Courtaulds Textiles), Peter Booth (TGWU), Des Farrell (GMB), Paul Gates (KFAT), Professor Dick Horrocks (Bolton Institute), David Sutcliffe OBE DL (Benson Turner) and John Wilson (BATC). My Department is represented on the group by Brian Hopson, the Director of Consumer Goods and Business Services.