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Somerset benefits cheat travels world despite 'illness'

A globe-trotting benefits cheat from Somerset who claimed she was too scared to leave her home was working as a tour guide trekking in South America.

Tracy Johnson lived a "champagne lifestyle" as a travel writer and tour operator in Argentina. Credit: Wales News

52-year-old Tracy Johnson from Frome, claimed she was "prisoner in her own home" suffering from agrophobia with a fear of open spaces - and hadn't left Britain for years.

But a court in Wales heard was she was living a "champagne lifestyle" as a travel writer and tour operator in Argentina. The trial continues.

Tracy Johnson claimed she was "prisoner in her own home". Credit: Wales News

Villagers protest over plans for 100 new homes

Residents of a small village in Somerset have been protesting over plans to build a hundred new homes on nearby fields.

Villagers stood on the roundabout just outside Nunney near Frome to make their protest.

The developers, Barratt promise "a significant contribution" to local schools plus jobs.

One of the protesters, Lisa Ramsay, says they are concerned the houses - that will be built on the Greenpits Lane site - will create too much traffic:

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Firms fined £30,000 after worker fell from unguarded scaffolding

Two firms have been fined more than £30,000 after a labourer suffered multiple injuries in a fall from unguarded scaffolding.

56-year-old Stephen Keegan from Frome in Somerset was a temporary employee of Julian Chard Carpentry Ltd.

The company was sub-contracted by C J Deighton & Co Ltd to build timber frames for properties in Trowbridge, Wiltshire last March.

A court heard that Mr Keegan fell two metres from an unguarded section of scaffolding.He suffered a fractured knee and wrist, broken collarbone, perforated ear drum.

Both were found guilty of breaching construction regulations. Julian Chard Carpentry was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,121 in costs. C J Deighton & Co was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,122 in costs.

CJ Deighton has gone in liquidation and Julian Chard Carpentry has now ceased trading.

This was a serious incident which could easily have been prevented. Mr Keegan has undergone several operations since his fall and is unlikely to get full mobility in his shoulder, knee or wrist. This was only a temporary job for Mr Keegan and, as a self-employed painter and decorator, his injuries meant that he could not work at all for six months and they will severely hamper his future ability to work.

– Helena Tinton, Health and Safety Executive inspector

Toilet block in Frome gets an overhaul

by Claire Manning

It doesn't spring to mind as the most salubrious of places for an artist to display their work, but an old toilet block in Somerset is having an overhaul and being turned into a public art gallery.

The building in Frome was beginning to look rather rundown, so some locals have set about giving the building a new lease of life.

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