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During this time living conditions remained incredibly poor, with Dudley being named 'the most unhealthy place in the country', which led to the installation of clean water supplies and sewage systems, and later the extensive development of council housing during the early 20th century to relocate the occupants of local slum housing.

Following the Reform Act of 1832, Dudley returned one Member of Parliament, a privilege first enacted in the Parliament of 1295.

The first mention of Dudley's status as a borough dates from the mid-13th century, when Roger de Somery, then Baron of Dudley, approved of the establishment of a market in nearby Wolverhampton.

Dudley was developed substantially in the early 20th century, with the construction of many entertainment venues including a theatre and cinemas, with two indoor shopping centres being added later in the century.

Dudley Castle, which had fallen into ruin following a fire in 1750, was converted into a zoo in 1937 by the Earl of Dudley, with buildings designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin.

The current MPs elected from these seats to the House of Commons are Labour's Ian Austin, and the Conservative Mike Wood, respectively.

In October 2017, revised government proposals to constituency boundaries were revealed, which would reduce Dudley to just one constituency.

A reported 250,000 people attempted to visit the site upon the first day of opening.

In World War II, Dudley was bombed on several occasions.On 19 November 1940 a Luftwaffe bomb demolished a public house in the town centre and damaged several nearby buildings including St Thomas's Church and the new Co-Operative department store, but there were no fatalities.However, on the same night a landmine was dropped in the Oakham area of the town and demolished a section of council houses in City Road, resulting in the deaths of 10 people and injuring many others.It became a county borough in 1888 under the Local Government Act. The present Town Hall opened on St James's Road in 1928; it stands next to council offices which were converted from the old Police Station in 1939, after the construction of a new building on nearby New Street.Dudley presently has two parliamentary constituencies, Dudley North and Dudley South, which cover the town and its surrounding area.Originally a market town, Dudley was one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution and grew into an industrial centre in the 19th century with its iron, coal, and limestone industries before their decline and the relocation of its commercial centre to the nearby Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the 1980s.