Bathroom retailer turns on the taps with investment and job creation

Bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing is to invest in a 50,000 sq ft warehouse and create 80 jobs as it responds to an increase in orders.

The Formby-based business is benefitting from increased demand from customers for home improvements, as many people spend more time at home while missing out on summer holidays.

Stephnie Judge, who became managing director in March, said: “There has been an increased appetite for home renovations during lockdown and investing in a bathroom revamp has been a key project for many.”

The retailer already employs 400 people and generates £150m sales. Before lockdown it had been forecasting another big jump in sales, targetting £200m revenues.

It is now looking to hire across all areas of the business to support its growth, with a particular focus on logistics and customer service roles.

“Consumers are revamping their home for a number of reasons,” said Judge.

“For some, savings achieved during lockdown have meant they have the cash to invest in their homes. For others, lockdown gave them the additional time to work on such projects and reminded them of the benefits of DIY.

“We are seeing consumers realise the benefits of renovations such as a new bathroom or simply adding a downstairs toilet or separate shower to increase the appeal of their homes to potential buyers.”

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Government watchdog recommends creation of White House cyber director position

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded Tuesday that confusion over cybersecurity leadership is undermining the ability of the federal government to fully address cybersecurity challenges, recommending the establishment of a federal cyber czar. 

The watchdog agency wrote in a report that “clarity of leadership” was “urgently needed” in order to implement the Trump administration’s 2018 National Cyber Strategy, citing concerns around the wide array of federal agencies involved in combating cyber threats, and the lack of a White House leader to help coordinate these actions.

“Without effective and transparent leadership that includes a clearly defined leader, a defined management process, and a formal monitoring mechanism, the executive branch cannot ensure that entities are effectively executing their assigned activities intended to support the nation’s cybersecurity strategy and ultimately overcome this urgent challenge,” GAO wrote. 

The agency zeroed in on the elimination of the White House cybersecurity coordinator position in 2018 as being a major factor in leadership confusion at the federal level. The position was eliminated by former national security advisor John BoltonJohn BoltonDiplomacy with China is good for America The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association – Pence lauds Harris as ‘experienced debater’; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep DOJ launches probe into Bolton book for possible classified information disclosures MORE in an effort to decrease bureaucracy.

“In light of the elimination of the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator position in May 2018, it remains unclear which official ultimately maintains responsibility for not only coordinating execution of the Implementation Plan, but also holding federal agencies accountable once activities are implemented,” GAO wrote. 

The report was released in the midst of an ongoing effort by bipartisan members of Congress to push through legislation establishing a national cyber director position at the White House, which would be an expanded version of the previous position and would help coordinate cybersecurity efforts at the federal level.

A bipartisan bill establishing the position was included in the House version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act in July, but was left out of the Senate version. 

GAO recommended Tuesday that Congress “consider legislation” that would establish a position at the White House with the authority “to implement and encourage action in support of the nation’s cyber critical infrastructure.”

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyTop Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence House panel advances bill to ban Postal Service leaders from holding political positions Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for ‘Will on the Hill…or Won’t They?’ MORE (D-N.Y.), one of the sponsors of the original legislation introduced in June to create a national cyber director, pointed to the report on Tuesday as supporting the establishment of the position.

“Today’s new report from the Government Accountability Office warns of another gaping vulnerability created by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before

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