The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, which runs the London Fire Brigade, is spearheading changes designed to ensure that the UK's Fire and Rescue Service is prepared for the cuts, and ready for essential modernisation. 

As part of his comprehensive spending review, Chancellor George Osborne announced yesterday that there would be reductions in fire and rescue spending, but it would be limited in "return for substantial operational reform." 

The coalition government has identified a number of key areas where the UK's fire and rescue services could modernise to become more efficient and effective. 

Chairman and Leader of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman said: "This authority is leading the way in delivering these changes. Proposals such as equal 12-hour shifts for firefighters will create a more productive and flexible workforce, and are at the heart of our own modernisation agenda. We want to see a lean, efficient and effective Fire Service which ensures people are kept safe, and the number of fires continues to fall whilst delivering an ever better deal for the taxpayer." 

Sharing back office functions - such as the provision of democratic and IT services - with its GLA partners is another area in which London Fire Brigade is already demonstrating how to deliver a value for money service, without compromising public safety. A number of senior management posts have also been cut, saving £425,000. There are further proposals that will look at merging head office departments. 

The Brigade has proposed a budget for the forthcoming year which will achieve savings of nearly £11 million, without making firefighters redundant or closing fire stations.