Video: The 'Caped Poosader' on a mission to clean up the streets of Cleethorpes
MEET Mark Dunlavey – a man on a mission to clean up the streets of Cleethorpes ... and beyond.
Armed with a broom and fuelled by his hatred for dodging dog mess, the 39-year-old, nicknamed "Crapman", is taking matters into his own hands – and street litter into his own bin.
He hopes others will join his crusade to make the area a better place to live.
Unemployed Mark, of Fair View Avenue, said: "I love Cleethorpes, it has so much going for it but I became so tired of the mess.
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"I thought about going to the council but I know they have cuts and there are few resources to clean the streets. So instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I figured I have the time, I am fit and looking for work, what is stopping me from doing it?"
Mark moved back to Cleethorpes from Harrogate after losing his job as a senior carer at a nursing home and the break-up of his relationship.
He lives with his mother and is dependent on Jobseekers' Allowance, which he used to buy a broom – only for the head to fall off the next day.
Undeterred, he strapped it back on and has so far cleaned Frederick Street, Giles Street and Bursar Street. He has also founded Street People, of which he is the only member – so far.
Mark continued: "People get great satisfaction from a clean street and once people are sure their streets are clean they won't be looking down at the ground anymore, people will make eye contact with one another, stop and say hello.
"People are so busy avoiding dog mess and vomit that they don't look at each other. I didn't see this in Harrogate and I believe it will make a big difference."
He has plans to expand his clean-up mission to Grimsby and wants to start jet-cleaning walls and pavements as well as repairing homes and painting walls.
He said: "Virtue is its own reward, just doing something for the sake of doing it. At the beginning people might feel stupid – I fully expected to be ridiculed – but as soon as people saw what I was doing, they have come up to say thank you.
"It only takes one, determined person to start this. Someone who has the time to do it, and the guts to be ridiculed at first. Someone who can motivate others towards a positive change. Oh dear, I think that's me..."
As well as recruiting others to Street People, Mark needs someone to lend him the right tools to expand his mission.
North East Lincolnshire Council cut their Community Pride team by half and are looking at ways of "working differently" amid budget cuts.
Deputy leader Councillor Mick Burnett said: "We are looking at ways of working with community groups and parish councils to deliver services.
"What Mark is doing in principle is fine, but it needs to be done in a controlled manner and not on an ad hoc basis. I would like to spend some time with the guy to find out what he is doing and what he wants done."
Meanwhile, NELC said chewing gum will be jet-blasted away from paving slabs, lamp posts and other areas in Victoria Street, Grimsby, starting on Monday between 3am and 7am, for about five mornings.
If you are interested in either, visit www.streetpeople.info or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF there were more people like Mark Dunlavey in this country then we would not have the problems and issues that we are currently experiencing.
Taking responsibility for our own actions is a phrase that seems hopelessly lost on the masses!
So many of Britain’s population seem to think that ‘it is somebody else’s responsibility or fault’.
They simply could not give a hoot about how their actions affect others or how their lack of respect or thought impacts on those around them.
The result is litter-strewn streets, dog mess, neglect and vandalism.
Does it not drive you mad when you see a car or van window wound down and fast food wrappers and packaging slung out onto the road side – there is simply no need for it.
If everyone would just do one thing a day to improve their own environment, the difference would be significant.
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