THE winners of a Christmas shop window decorating competition have been announced.

Past Caring, a boutique in Newland Street, Witham, won top prize while Rag, Tag & Bobtail, also in Newland Street, came a close second.

Tina Townsend, the leader of the Witham Chamber of Commerce was on hand to present the prizes along with Priti Patel MP.

Mrs Townsend said: "With Christmas fast approaching its lovely to see all the effort that our local businesses put into decorating their windows and cheering up our town.

"We also were extremely privileged to be invited to judge the windows in Coggeshall this year.

"Congratulations to The Salon who took first place in a close fought competition."

Meanwhile the Witham Chamber of Commerce and the Coggeshall Chamber of Trade have merged.

An email sent to the members of the Witham group said: "We are absolutely delighted to inform you all that we have officially merged with Coggeshall Chamber of Trade.

"Although we have joined forces we will still remain as two entities, we will be keeping you posted over the coming weeks on our plans.

"We have been working behind the scenes for some time to ensure that we have the right team in place and can confirm that Tina Townsend, our current chair will also chair Coggeshall with Jo Beechey from the White Hart Coggeshall as the Vice Chair.

"Michael Staines of Stock Street Farm Barns will be looking after membership and Nikki Sear, our networking officer will be looking after Coffee Morning Networking which is already up and running.

"Helen Ellis Jones had decided to take a back seat but will remain as an integral part of the team."