There is a popular misconception that there is just a single "Council" administering local affairs, and this is further compounded by the fact that Stafford Borough Council is responsible for collecting the council tax on behalf of all the different providers of local services comprising:
% of Tax
Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire Police Force
Stafford Borough Council
Staffordshire Fire & Rescue
*This is set by each respective parish council, except in Stafford (Doxey excluded) where no parish councils exist.
Staffordshire's police and fire services obviously speak for themselves, but the distinction between the County Council and the Borough Council is a little more subtle - for example, the Borough Council is responsible for collecting household waste, but the County Council is responsible for disposing of it...
In general, the County Council tends to control services which are strategic in nature, such as education or road infrastructure, while the Borough focuses on matters with a much more local impact, such as planning permission and licensing. And of course, the National Government can legislate to change each council's respective duties as and when it deems it necessary.
Below is a list of most of the various functions of the two main local authorities:
Staffordshire County Council:
Social Services (including care for the elderly)
Highways (including roads, pavements and street lighting)