At least UTV's continuity room has an autocue. I used to have a relative working for Tyne Tees, and when their announcers read the news it was done from sheets of paper, and they had to control several continuity functions whilst talking live on air. It was so underfunded as well, announcers were expected to create the graphics for the station (coming next slides, programme menus etc) and work out their own scripts just from looking at the TV Times! They even used their old 80's mechanical on-screen clock as a timepiece on one of the bank of monitors immediately in front of the IV announcer, and an old telephone from the 70's, as late on as 1996.
I don't think UTV could be considered lazy. Your regional programming is very strong IMHO, in particular the Insight programme which seems to be made to a higher standard than ITV's national current affairs series!!