THREE district councils are joining forces to share services, in a measure which is expected to offer significant savings.

Durham city, Easington and Sedgefield councils will outline the partnership project later this week.

Under the title the South East Durham Concordat, the councils' three environmental services departments will work together.

Services covered by the concordat will be refuse collection, recycling, street cleaning, landscape and fleet management.

The councils believe it will allow them to respond swifter to environmental problems throughout the year, while money saved will be channelled into providing better services.

Project lead officer Jeff Riddell said residents from the three districts would be consulted to help steer the joint team in the desired direction.

Accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper has been appointed to investigate and report on five key areas of the combined services, including an analysis of the projected cost savings and the recommended management structure.

The concordat will be unveiled at a Challenge Day event, featuring speakers from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, various development agencies and six private companies.

The Challenge Day takes place at Durham's Gala Theatre, on Wednesday.