PEOPLE who need to renew their absent vote entitlement are being contacted by Stockton Borough Council to ensure they complete the form.

As part of the security measures all postal and proxy voters must provide a fresh signature specimen every five years.

Everyone who is required to submit a fresh signature will receive a new application during February which they must complete and return in the pre-paid envelope provided.

Councillor David Harrington, the council's cabinet member for corporate management and finance, said: "We will be contacting everyone who has held an absent vote application for more than five years and it is vital they return a fresh signature as soon as possible if they wish to continue to use a postal vote in any forthcoming elections."

For more information call the council on 01642-526196.