Eastbourne would be left with midwife-led maternity care
Councillors in Eastbourne are to pledge £23,000 to the fight to keep full maternity services at the East Sussex town's hospital.
The money represents the £3,300 each of the seven Conservative members of the council is allowed to allocate from a fund for small community projects.
But a motion before the full council meeting on Wednesday to pledge the entire £90,000 fund was defeated.
The 20-strong Lib Dem group voted against pledging its share of the fund.
"I am pretty disappointed, to say the least," said Councillor David Elkin, who proposed the motion.
NHS bosses plan to scale down maternity services at Eastbourne District General leaving it with midwife-led care only.
Campaigners want to seek a judicial review of the decision, but fear costs of up to £150,000 could be awarded if they lose.
The £23,000 pledged by the Conservative group is part of a new fund set aside to allow councillors to award about £3,300 each to community projects of their choice.