Rumpus over Dersingham memorial clean-up
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A big-hearted community volunteer who helped clear up his village's war memorial is being investigated by police for his efforts after a complaint was made about his work.
Kurtis Ross-Green, 19, had previously been nominated for a Norfolk Young People of the Year (YOPEY) award for his years of hard graft cleaning the landmark opposite his home in Hunstanton Road.
Yet four years after he won YOPEY's Young Positive Role Model of the Year category for helping to bring about the memorial's £20,000 renovation, the project has turned sour following a series of bitter recriminations with the parish council which nominated him for the prize.
The row started in around 2010, when an argument between Dersingham Parish Council and Kurtis, who was supported by former parish councillors John Houston and Valerie Brundle, resulted in the three of them being banned from the site.
A task force was set up take over Kurtis's work cleaning the site, which he had done from the age of nine.
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However the trio, who now call themselves the Memorial Three, resumed their role when they felt the task force was not working and that the site was full of weeds and overgrown plants.
Dersingham Parish Council clerk Sarah Bristow wrote to Kurtis on December 8 last year to say councillors were prepared to allow him to continue maintenance of the memorial provided he took out his own insurance.
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However, when Kurtis completed some work to underground water pipes at the memorial earlier this year, a complaint was raised with Norfolk Constabulary.
Ms Bristow said the parish council could not make any comment as the matter was being investigated by police. However, she said: 'The parish council did not give anyone permission to do anything.'
A spokesman for Norfolk police said: 'There is an investigation going on and police have spoken to someone in their late teens as a voluntary attender.'
Kurtis' mum, Sandra Green, said: 'All he is trying to do is some good. He is a kind, hardworking boy. He's got a heart of gold.'
John Dobson, county councillor for Dersingham, said: 'My concern is that two groups who had the best of intentions are unable to get along, especially as the war memorial had been brought up to a very high standard.
'I'd call on the parish council and Kurtis to see if they can resolve this in an amicable way.'
Kurtis said he was willing to meet the parish council to try to resolve the situation.