A research project based at Aston University is finding that local varieties are on the up. This follows years of concern that local accents and dialects have been in decline as a result of people's increased mobility, the spread across regional and national boundaries of new media and technologies, and the belief that such changes might lead to dialect levelling (more here and here).
You can read more about it in The Daily Mail or go straight to the source at Aston University through this project site* or through Urszula Clark's summary, You Are What You Speak which raises lots of good points about accent, identity and class in the UK.
And for a lighter look at West Midlands accents, have a look at this piece from The Guardian**
(*Thanks to Jon H @ruchbah for this one and for doing it in the first place)
(**Thanks to Nicky W for link to this)